Glenveagh National Park victim to illegal dumping & turf extraction

This week the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) have submitted an official complaint to the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Donegal County Council regarding evidence of illegal dumping and mechanical turf extraction observed in Glenveagh National Park in County Donegal.

This comes after last weekend when a huge quantity of builder’s rubble was seen, located in a smaller woodland near the main entrance of the National Park. The IWT have also stated that asbestos was believed to be found along a bog track in the park, posing as a hazard for park users.

Additionally, the IWT have stated that mechanical turf extraction by means of machinery known as ‘sausage-machines’ was evident in large areas of the National Park, illegally as it against the National Peatland Strategy.

 The below image is an example of a ‘sausage-machine’ in use.

The IWT have stated that corpses of dead animals could be observed alongside new ‘turf banks’ that had been made – inside a wider Special Area of Conservation (SPA)’. This is highly enraging and is absolutely not acceptable as it is also going against national policy and is deemed to be illegal on many grounds.

This is completely unacceptable activity and the ecological damage that has been done to this landscape is colossal. As Glenveagh National Park is a protected site, it homes many protected habitats and species of which are now extremely vulnerable in this situation.  This is also economically damaging to Ireland, as Glenveagh National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland, seeing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the park every year.
This is not the first occasion this has happened, as the IWT have stated that in 2013 similar activities of illegal dumping were experiences as well as this illegal turf extraction inside the National Park.

IWT Campaigns Officer Pádraic Fogarty says:

“It’s quite astonishing for this activity to be happening anywhere but to see it inside one of our National Parks is particularly distressing. The fact that this seems to be an on-going feature suggests that serious questions need to be asked of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and park management.”

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