The way that I went: reminiscences of a Peatnik

David Bellamy

After Wise Use – The Future of Peatlands, Proceedings of the 13th International Peat Congress: Invited Papers

Tullamore, Ireland

allen, bogs, boora, peat, peatlands

Bellamy, David 2008: The way that I went: reminiscences of a Peatnik IPC 2008


The Boora complex of peatlands which stretched from the Shannon estuary almost to Dublin is no more. The great Bog of Allen has itself been swallowed up by the gourmands of Philipstown, Tullamore and the Irish economy in their need for electricity.

So begins my Ph.D. thesis, Ecological Studies on some European Mires. Half a century on I will lend you my
hearing aid. With a copy of Robert Lloyd Pager’s The Way That I Went in my fist and the fire of Tullamore Dew in my belly I will take you back through half a century’s wandering through the mires of the world and on into a bright future for peatlands and their many virtues. My introduction to the wonders and the problems of peatland was when as I read The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter, a natural historian and authoress whose books sold in their millions back in the early years of the last…