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Abbeyleix Bog in Local Bioblitz Challenge June 8th

Published: 2nd April 2013

Abbeyleix Bog in Co Laois has been selected as one of the sites taking part in this years Local Bioblitz Challenge, which is being supported by the National Biodiversity Data Centre.

For those who don't know what Bioblitz is, it is a mad competition where people descend on a site and try to record as many species (plants/mammals/birds/bugs etc) as possible in a defined period of time (24 hours).

The Abbeyleix Bog Management Committee are a local community group who have leased the bog from Bord na Mona and are currently managing the site for its biodiversity, amenity and educational value. They are delighted to host the Local Bioblitz Challenge at Abbeyleix Bog on June 8th.

For whose of you who do not know the site, it is a raised bog with some wet areas surrounded by old regenerating cutover bog, some of which is developing as secondary lagg/fen woodland. There is actually some intact wooded lagg as well. The bog is bisected by the old Portloaise-Kilkenny Railway and some diverse grassland, scrub and woodland have now developed along the old railway embankment, which is used as part of a great looped walk around the bog. The area surrounding the bog has mature mixed woodland and conifer plantation.

There is plenty of scope for recording, although the site is not very big overall so it is relatively easy to see all the main habitats and features - you can do a the looped walk in two hours. The site is relatively under-recorded - with only the high bog surveyed in detail recently. A butterfly monitoring transect is also carried out on the site.

This will be a family-friendly event as well and we will hope to organize some more structured events such as a Dawn Chorus walk and wildlife walks in due course. It's definitely a nice place for a picnic. The site is located beside Abbeyleix Town (and a lovely hotel!) and we plan to provide lots of refreshments and supplies during the day.

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