Clara Bog Nature Reserve is the finest remaining example of a raised bog in Ireland today and is our largest project site, covering approximately 840 hectares of which 443.36ha is uncut high bog with the remaining 393.18ha mostly cutover bog (as a result of previous turf-cutting and peat harvesting). It is home to hundreds of plant and animal species, with many rare plants totally unique to this site.
Clara Bog is one of the most important raised bogs in the Europe, being the largest remaining example of the true Midland Raised Bog. It is a reminder of how the landscape of this region once appeared and at one stage it towered over surrounding ground. The bog has seen it all over the past 10,000 years, but it perhaps only in the last 200 years that it has witnessed the biggest changes, with the extraction of peat and the creation of a road right through it. Since the road went in, the bog has shrank significantly.
But its decline was halted, with efforts beginning in earnest to save it in the 1960’s. It has since been protected under a number of national and international designations and is a Special Area of Conservation, a Natura 2000 site, a National Nature Reserve, a RAMSAR Wetland Site, and a Natural Heritage Area.
Thanks to its award-winning Visitor Centre, looped boardwalks and regular tours and events, you can experience over 10,000 years of history in the ten square kilometres that accommodate Clara Bog and its surroundings. Thanks to the LIFE Programme and ‘The Living Bog’, Clara Bog SAC will feature more active raised bog than at any stage in the past 25 years.
Our restoration works will see hundreds of hectares improved between now and 2020, with the area objective for Active Raised Bog on Clara set at over 180 hectares, which is roughlu a tenth of all the Active Raised Bog that remains in Ireland after our wholesale pillage of the bogs.