Save Ardee Bog
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Some of the Earth's greatest landscapes are threatened by increased road construction, including the Raised Bog outside the town of Ardee in County Louth, Ireland.
Minister Shane Ross and Ireland's Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport propose building the N52 Ardee By-pass through Ardee Bog in County Louth.
There are many reasons why this project needs to be stopped. Here are some of our concerns:
1. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was never carried out.
2. Ireland declared a Climate Emergency in May 2019. Why is the Irish Government now building a road through a Bog? This is the opposite of what we should be doing. Raised Bogs take 10,000 years to form. We cannot let this project go ahead.
3. Peatlands are Ireland's rainforests. Bogs play a vital role in mitigating the effects of the climate crisis by storing vast amounts of carbon. Irish peatlands hold 75% of the soil’s organic carbon, dramatically more than agriculture or forestry. Our bogs need to be protected at all costs.
4. Ardee Bog is the last and most easterly Raised Bog in Ireland. It is a proposed Natural Heritage Area, and a site of national ecological significance. It needs to be protected from so-called "development" and left to regenerate. As the Irish Peatland Conservation Council states: Raised Bogs are beautiful landscapes with a unique biodiversity. They provide mankind with services that are worth billions of Euro that may be easily jeopardised by inappropriate or short-sighted exploitation. Raised Bogs are:
- the finest example of their type in Europe, and probably the world.
- a unique repository of information of past climates, vegetation and human activity.
- a valuable genetic resource of potential use to humanity.
- valuable outdoor laboratories in which plants, animals and natural processes in an extremely inhospitable environment can be studied.
- of national and international importance as part of the biosphere in which they are inextricably linked to to other ecosystems.
- a unique feature of the Irish landscape of considerable tourist value.
- a priority habitat under the EU Habitats Directive because of their scarcity in Europe.
- an important store of carbon, helping to control greenhouse gases.
- an important store of water within river catchments
5. Curlews are feeding and possibly nesting in Ardee Bog. This is incredible! Curlews are one of the most iconic birds of the Irish countryside but the Curlew Task Force has just reported that there has been a 96% decline in numbers since the 1980s and it is in danger of extinction in Ireland. In June 2019 the County Louth Ranger identified seven key sites where the Curlews feed and possibly nest. Two of these sites are directly in the proposed road's route. This project would jeopardize the Curlews, as well as the other animals who call Ardee Bog home, including Otters, Owls, Cuckoos, Frogs, Hare, Bats, and Snipe.
6. In the last ten years Ardee Bog's surrounding bufferzone habitat has experienced dramatic flooding. The proposed road cuts through this Flood Zone. Transport Infrastructure Ireland (T.I.I. is in charge of carrying out the project) was not aware of this until the local Community Action Group pointed it out at a meeting in 2018. Since then, they've revised the plans and the project budget has doubled to 34million Euro (This brings up the question of tax-payers money, which we wont go into in this petition, but apparently they are already spending 6million Euro alone on fenching off the site). Putting a road through a Flood Zone is non-sensical and dangerous. It will exacerbate the existing flooding problem and create untold damage to local communities, farmers, businesses, Ardee golf club, as well as any road infrastructure itself.
7. The plan for the road is 18 years old and was apparently inadequately drawn up at the time. In its original form it would cut off entire communities by turning them into cul-de-sacs, completely isolating them from the town.
8. Traffic congestion in the town of Ardee is largely caused by traffic on the N2 coming from Dublin, Slane, Collon, Carrickmacross as well as two local primary schools, a community school, housing estates (some existing 18 years ago as well as a lot of new developments built since). All this traffic from the N2 gets bottlenecked at a little bridge over the river Dee; it is not traffic from the N52. If this road project aims to solve the traffic problem in Ardee, then it needs to relieve traffic from the N2 rather than the N52. This By-pass is not bypassing the right part of town.
Join us in calling on the Irish Government to recognize the urgency of the Climate Emergency they declared and the importance of places like Ardee Bog.
Please sign our petition asking them to STOP building a road through Ardee Bog.
If you'd like to send a message directly to the decision makers, you can find their contact info and a sample letter on our website, just click here.
Friends of Ardee Bog
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