Leitrim Hare’s Tail Cottongrass
Last summer I engaged with a wonderful programme of events as part of the https://greensodireland.ie/ “Wild Acres Week”. Green Sod Ireland is a Land Trust that Protects Land and its Biodiversity. To date Green Sod Ireland has been gifted in excess of 100 acres by visionary individuals and communities, in Counties Galway, Cork, Carlow, Donegal, Mayo and Cavan. Gifted land is first and foremost appraised by their ecologists who complete an initial ecology report with findings and recommendations. The diversity of land across Ireland means that individual management plans are created to address the specific needs of each. The local community participate in the protection of land and are invited to engage in our ecological education initiatives. They are an integral part of holding this land in trust together.
As part of the “Wild Acres Week” Greensod Ireland hosted a pop-up event in collaboration with the @wildpostcardproject as part of their series of events. Artists and anyone interested in biodiversity was invited to submit a drawing of an element of biodiversity which would start a conversation about and celebrate Irish biodiversity.
I was delighted when my drawing "Leitrim Hare's Tail Cottongrass" won the pop-up competition, and my artwork was created into postcards. The Wild Postcard Project aims to increase awareness of biodiversity through artwork competitions for kids & teens in locations across the world. The winning artworks are converted into postcards, allowing local biodiversity – as depicted by the artworks to be shared to all corners of the globe.
This specimen of bog cotton came from a small area of wetland at Coranmore near Thur Mountain, in North Leitrim, at mother’s home farm.
At this time, I connected with a local agency www.goodenergiesalliance.ie here in Leitrim who are carrying out great work around our local peatlands. They estimate that more than 20% of Leitrim is covered in wetlands and that about 3% of all national wetlands are in Leitrim. Major protected bogs in Leitrim include Aghavogill, Thur Mountain and Corry Mountain bog. Besides those, hundreds of minor wetlands are scattered around. Some of those are under voluntary conservation-rewetting programmes. The raised bog on Mount Allen Organic Farm, near Drumshanbo, is one such area and GEAI is part of the consortium reviewing its rewetting programme. The results of this will be included in a future programme directed at local farmers, encouraging them to rewet their peatlands.
One of GEA's findings is the speed at which native plants recolonise bog once a resetting programme has started. Spagnum moss thrives, but also sundew, rushes, heathers and bog cotton. Bogs, as well as their important carbon sequestering capabilities, are very important for biodiversity in Ireland. Here is the link of GEAI series of blogposts, articles and interviews about peatlands. https://www.goodenergiesalliance.ie/projects/ongoing-projects/peatlands-a-series/