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2024 Programme Community Placemaking Reimagine

Bog Bothy project update


Today is World Wetlands Day, and our Bog Bothy project is well underway.

Bog Bothy is a collaboration between the Irish Architecture Foundation and architects Evelyn D’Arcy and David Jameson (12th Field) that will help nurture a new, sustainable relationship with Ireland’s ecologically and culturally important bog landscape. The Bog Bothy project will work with peatland communities to co-create bog bothies as spaces for shelter, retreat, and deep engagement with this changing landscape. This project focuses particularly on peatland landscapes that are transitioning away from harvesting.

What makes Irish peatlands so special? While in recent years peatlands have been seen primarily as energy landscapes, and harvesting peat and turf plays a very important role in Ireland’s social history and cultural memory, they also have thousands of years of providing many different important roles for communities, from rush and herb collection to farming. People also lived directly on bogs, with evidence of houses on stilts. Bogs provide an important habitat for flora and fauna, including some of Ireland’s most endangered birds, such as the curlew. They sequester and store atmospheric carbon for thousands of years, and their restoration is an important part of tackling climate change.

Over the past five months, the Bog Bothy team has been busy connecting with communities actively considering the changing role of their bogs, as well as exploring the long history of architecture in this landscape. They have also been researching the role of bothies in providing spaces for people to have deeper connectedness with nature, building links with amazing initiatives in Scandinavia, New Zealand and the UK. They are now putting together an exciting programme of public talks, workshops, and research visits, which we will announce in the coming weeks. These will be open to communities who are interested in the potential of bog bothies in their locality, but we welcome all those who are interested in sharing in this process.

The team is also delighted to have a new member, photographer Shane Hynan. Shane is an artist with an interest in the bogs and their community and industrial heritage, who brings his hands-on experience of community peatland management to Knockirr Bog in Co. Kildare. Shane is documenting this project as well as creating images that will help you fall in love with the bogs and, like us, want to spend more time in them.

We invite you to follow Bog Bothy on Instagram and join the conversation. 

Alternatively, you can find out more or contact the team by emailing engagement@architecturefoundation.ie.

Bog Bothy is part of the Creative Climate Action II – Agents for Change programme funded by Creative Ireland.


Photo: David Jameson on the Lemanaghan Bog Pilgrim Path. Photo by Shane Hynan.