We are Friends of Ardee Bog

Research, Outreach, and Storytelling are our tools

We want to save Ardee Bog from destruction by the N52 Bypass


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.

We aim to protect Ardee Bog from inappropriate development.

Here you can learn more and find out how you can help.



50% of Europe’s raised bogs are in Ireland.

In Ireland, the raised bogs—including Ardee Bog—all started to form around 10,000 years ago. As the Ice Age glaciers were melting, the ice scratched the landscape and moved the land creating the depressions which would form into lakes (Ireland is like a flat mountain with a sunken centre). These lakes filled with glacial melt water and were lined with a chalk marl formed from invertebrates and shells which helped create waterlogged, low oxygen conditions. Any plants which grew and died fell into the lake and did not decompose as there were no worms, bacteria, fungi. These plant materials built up, trapped under a high water table. As the lake fills with plant material (peat) it’s called a fen, which is a transitional habitat; in-between a lake and raised bog. Fens will turn into a raised bog if the right brown sphagnum mosses move in.

Ardee Bog is a designated site of National Ecological Importance.

Since 1981 it has been listed as having scientific importance.

The botanist Robert Lloyd Praeger visited in 1897.

Bogs play an important role in mitigating the effects of climate change by storing vast amounts of carbon. Irish peatlands hold 75% of the soil’s organic carbon. You could say they are Ireland’s rainforest.

Peatlands sequester and store atmospheric carbon for thousands of years.

They represent the largest store of carbon in the Irish landscape.

The Irish Peatland Conservation Council undertook surveys of Ardee Bog in 1990 and 1998 and identified a core area for conservation surrounded by a bufferzone of supporting habitat. The site represents an asset of considerable importance for County Louth’s Natural Heritage and every effort needs to be taken to ensure its protection. In addition, the Great Bog of Ardee features in a landscape study undertaken by the late Professor Frank Mitchell in 1995 and published in the Atlas of the Rural Irish Landscape.

  • If the N52 Ardee Bypass is allowed to proceed in its current form it will cut through Ardee Bog and its bufferzone, violating many local, regional, and European directives. The damage this would cause is inconceivable.

We are legally bound by National and European legislation (The Wildlife Acts, Habitats and Bird’s Directives) and international conventions (Ramsar, Bern Convention, Convention on Biological Diversity) to do our utmost to protect peatlands now and for future generations. In County Louth specifically, only ~30% of raised bog habitat remains - an area of 300ha, (Foss, O’Connell, Crushell, 2001). Peatland habitats have been severely diminished in the country and this destruction is an issue in other legislation and conventions such as the UN Convention on Climate Change, Bonn Convention, World Heritage Convention,Water Framework Directive, Environment Liability Directive, Planning and Development Acts, National Monuments Acts, Environmental Directive, EIA and SEA. All of these legislative instruments have been adopted by Ireland and the IPCC ask that you assess this development with regard to these legal obligations.
— Irish Peatland Conservation Council
Ardee Bog flooded August 12 2019. 3. small.jpg


Find out about Ardee Bog, the creatures living in it, and the results of our advocacy.

Ardee Bog flooded August 12 2019. 1.jpg

Take Action

Want to help? You can join us by sharing our story.

All photos and videos on this website were taken in Ardee Bog by Katie Holten, Shelly Holten, and Seán Walsh (unless stated otherwise)