Welcome to the unique landscape that is Irish bogland!  The name is derived from the Irish/Gaelic word “Bogach” – meaning soft – because of the quaking surfaces and waterlogged conditions found there.  This rare and endangered landscape provides a habitat for some of our rarest flora and fauna, many of whom live only on the bog.  Many of those species found on bogland have adapted over millennia to survive on the nutrient-poor environment.  Many plants were used in herbal medicine.  In the present day with growing concern about climate change people are coming to realise and appreciate the value of bogs in combating it.  They are a natural carbon sink and often referred to as “Ireland’s Rainforest.”  Carrownagappul is Galway’s Living Bog and part of a larger project which aims to restore 12 active raised bogs nationwide between 2016 and 2020, under the EU funded LIFE project “The Living Bog.”

Plants that live in the Galway Peatlands

bog cotton

Bog Cotton

Bog Cotton was used to stuff mattresses in days of old.

Spaghnum Moss

Spaghnum Moss builds the bog, holds 20 times its weight in water, 5,000 tons were exported per month during WW1 for use as dressings in hospitals.


Heather/Ling has small purple flowers, white flowered heather is reputed to bring good luck.


Sundew is a small carnivorous plant that obtains extra nutrients by trapping and digesting insects.

Bog Myrtle

Bog Myrtle is a small aromatic shrub with yellow flowers

Bog Asphodel

Bog Asphodel is a small yellow flowered plant, once used for hair dye, considered toxic for grazing animals as it damages the kidneys & liver.

“Then we have rest, so sweet, so good, The quiet rest you crave; The long, deep bogland solitude That fits a forest’s grave;”
William A. Byrne

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