The Abbeyleix Bog Project is a natural resource managed by a community based voluntary organisation in Abbeyleix, Co Laois. Abbeyleix Bog is situated on the southern end of Abbeyleix town and encompasses an area of almost 500 acres or 150 hectares of diverse habitats including degraded (but recovering) raised bog, lagg, cutaway, wet carr woodland and meadows. The Abbeyleix Bog Project (ABP) stemmed from a local action which was established in 2000 to conserve and protect the bog which was threatened with harvesting for peat moss. Following negotiations with Bord Na Móna, a lease was signed in 2010 which handed the bog over to the local community to manage for a period of 50 years with a primary focus on conservation. The ABP now wishes to develop the identified opportunities for sustainable development using a Community-Based Natural Resource Management approach in order to maximise its benefits to the local community in terms of education, employment, income and recreation.   Organisational structure There is a three-fold structure in place for the management of the bog which comprises:

  • A Board of Trustees which holds the lease on behalf of the Abbeyleix community and ensures that the various aspects of the lease are adhered to;
  • A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) which includes 4 community elected representatives, and 1 representative each from Bord na Mόna, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Laois County Council and the Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC);
  • A private limited company (Abbeyleix Bog Project Ltd) with directors elected by the members and through a management committee is responsible for the day-to-day management and implementation of agreed business and conservation management plans;

Partners Bord na Mona – land owner and lessor – represented on the TAG by a senior member of their ecology team. The Abbeyleix Bog Project is one of BnM’s Local Community & Biodiversity Projects. See http://www.bordnamona.ie/our-company/biodiversity/   National Parks & Wildlife Services (DAHG):  The state body responsible for the protection of Ireland’s natural environment (www.npws.ie). Currently the NPWS is working on the National Raised Bog SAC Management Plan. The Abbeyleix Bog is one of the non-designated peatland sites in Ireland that will be considered under the scope of the plan.   Irish Peatland Conservation Council:  An independent NGO with a mission to conserve a representative sample of Irish peatlands for future generations to enjoy. (www.ipcc.ie)   Laois County Council – Local authority represented by the Heritage Officer of County Laois. Natural heritage or biodiversity in Laois is part of the remit of the Heritage office. (www.laois.ie)   Contact details Email address: [email protected] Facebook:  abbeyleixbog Twitter: @abbeyleixbog   Location Abbeyleix Bog (or Killamuck Bog) is located on the southern edge of Abbeyleix town. The entrance to the bog is located immediately south of the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel. The Manor Hotel is the last building on the left as you leave Abbeyleix Town on the N8 heading in the Cork direction. There is ample parking around the hotel carpark. Leave the carpark through the gap in the beech hedge, turn left and and you will see an interpretative board marking the entrance to the bog. (There is also a “Killamuck Bog” sign) The bog is divided in two by the old railway line (Portlaoise – Kilkenny) which runs north to south. The old line is raised above the level of the general bog site and provides a good dry walking route. The line is rutted in places but is just about good enough to push a buggy. (Google Map)

Walks Around Abbeyleix Bog