After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Peatland After-Use
after-use, cutaway-bog, forestry, grassland, natural-colonisation
For decades industrial cutaways have been subjected to intensive intrusive management with the objective of growing agricultural, horticultural and forestry crops and latterly bio-fuel crops, all with minimum success and some unsustainable environmental consequences. After more than 50 years of research on the future use of Irish industrial peatlands, where the emphasis has been on trying to transform the complex medium that is industrial cutaway peatland into a productive growing medium, the author argues that it is time to accept the reality that allowing natural processes to proceed is a much more efficient way to rehabilitate the cutaway. Natural revegetation of industrial cutaways has led to the creation of diverse ecosystems which will be ultimately much more sustainable and be of greater long-term ecological and environmental benefit.