ICMSA propose ‘Independent Baseline Survey’ to be carried out before Midlands Rewetting project begins

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Bord na Móna plans to rewet drained bogs

ICMSA have written to Bord na Mona proposing that an independent baseline survey be carried out in advance of the massive rewetting project proposed for several Midlands’ sites.

Denis Drennan, who chairs the association’s Farm & Rural Affairs Committee, has written to the semi-state detailing a comprehensive list of conditions and considerations that the association will want responses to before the project begins in earnest.

But Mr Drennan was particularly emphatic on the need for an independent baseline survey to take what he described as a ‘pre-wetting snapshot’ of the local conditions before any work starts, so that all the parties have an accurate and agreed picture of the situation from which any changes can be mapped.

Mr Drennan said that ICMSA considers this to be the most urgent and important preliminary consideration.

“We met and consulted with our members in the areas and have taken on board their concerns. On foot of that we have submitted a detailed list of matters that we think will require responses before the rewetting commences.

We’ve already stated that we have no issue with the decision of Bord na Mona to do what it wishes with its own land; but we have been equally forthright that we are going to insist that the actions they carry out on their land cannot be allowed degrade or destroy the productivity and value of private farms that border the Bord na Mona bogs.

I don’t think anyone could conclude that that is an unreasonable position and – with all due respect to Bord na Mona – we don’t think that the farms around the bogs in question can afford to just take anyone’s word for matters that are so fundamental as this. We’re not being cynical, but we can’t afford to be naïve either, said Mr Drennan.

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