My name is Gearoid Murphy and I am the Advisory Officer on the Flows to the Future Project. I’m originally from Kerry coast in the Republic of Ireland. In University College Cork I studied Environmental Science both for an undergraduate and master’s degree, specialising in water quality monitoring and ecology. After university I spent a year working as an intern for an environmental consultancy. After this finished I spent ten months as a residential volunteer in Killarney National Park. In this role I worked alongside volunteers from across Europe to control invasive Rhododendronwhich had invaded the semi natural oak woodlands of the park. The park is also home to Ireland’s only native population of red deer and an introduced sika deer herd and I assisted the parks conservation rangers with the management of them. In 2012 I moved to the Co. Durham in northern England to take up a position as a Conservation and Land management trainee with the North Pennines AONB Partnership. This was a diverse role and included surveys of species rich upland hay meadows and monitoring and restoration work on the blanket bogs of Weardale and Teesdale with the Peatscapes project. The following year I moved to Dumfries in Scotland to work on a restoration plan for Longbridge Muir, a lowland raised bog with Scottish Natural Heritage. In this post I secured funding from the SNH Peatland Action fund to carry out ditch blocking and bunding to rewet previously afforested parts of the bog.
In my current role I would like to work with land managers including estate owners, farmers and crofters in both Caithness and Sutherland to help them sustainably manage their blanket bogs. Some of the services I can offer include:
- Advice on peatland restoration including ditch blocking, reprofiling of peat hags and gullies, bare peat restoration and scrub control and implications for land management
- Applying for funding for restoration work through the Agri-Environment and Climate Scheme (AECS) and Peatland Action (if available)
- Writing up tenders to secure contractors to carry out restoration
- Information gathering to support to peatland restoration work including surveys of moorland drains and scrub and measuring peat depth
- Writing up SRDP plans to support sustainable management of blanket bogs Moorland Management Plans, Scrub Management Plans, Peatland Restoration and Ditch Blocking Plans
- Production of high quality maps to support moorland applications.
- Working with contractors to ensure restoration work is carried out to the required standard.
I will also be organising demonstration events over the lifetime of the project to enable land managers to see peatland restoration at first hand. If you have any questions about peatland restoration or SRDP funding, you can reach me on 077 66500364 or via email.