Blackcastle Bog forage group (Voluntary group)
The harvesting of peat on Bord Na Mona peatlands ceases in June 2020 and sees a shift towards the rehabilitation of Irish bogs. Whilst the need to leave these lands to re-wild is clear and apparent, their valued history and service to the inhabitants of the Midlands is recognised. The Blackcastle Bog Group is based in Rhode village which is on an "island" of high ground surrounded by an expanse of raised bog which forms the greater bog of Allen. This heritage project will document the machinery and mechanisation involved in the harvesting of peat, including; the railways, the structured drains and bays and pile heads. 'Remembering North Offaly's industrial peatlands' will include pictures and footage. The project will be shared online via Youtube, a blog, and social media posts. Public health advice allowing, a tour will also be organsied. The Blackcastle Bog Group was founded in 2016 as an operational group for a local community EIP project and is a community of former and current employees of Bord na Mona and turfcutters. The project will include participation by the Rhode Historical group.