Bog Wood-A Natural Wonder, Thousands of Years in the Making
The Bogs have been a part of Irish life for thousands of years. The bogs in Ireland cover large areas of the landscape, the most in any country other than maybe Finland. Ireland is the only country that still uses the turf cut from the bogs for fuel.
Bog Wood consists of ancient Oaks, Yews, and Pines that fell in the forest, thousands of years ago. They were buried over time in the encroaching bog but did not decompose! They were preserved due to the chemical make up of the soil. The graphic here shows the process of how this happened.
The Bog Wood remains being unearthed now due to excavation and mining, are 4000-6000 years old, maybe even as old as 10,000 years old! And it is from these trees, that have bridged historical eras, that our Artists craft their stunning gifts. Known as Mourning Wood, because it is black in color and widely used to make mourning jewelry during the Victorian Era, this rare and ancient wood can now be known as wood that is used to make beautiful jewelry for everyday use, sculptures, and other works of art!
Click on the graphic to the right to read more about Ireland's Peat Bogs.
Today, most Irish families can purchase briquettes of peat mined and machine pressed, at the grocery store, similar to buying coal for a fire. However, there are still many, many families that exercise their right of Turbary (the right to cut turf from a certain section of the bog). While preservation efforts to save the bogs, and the ancient historical treasures they contain, are underway, the families who work the bogs are being limited or forbidden to cut their turf. There are several places on the internet where more information can be found regarding the bogs, the preservation efforts, and the efforts of the turf cutters to retain their right of turbary. I have listed a few here and encourage you to visit.
The Bord Na Mona www.bordnamona.ie
The Turf Cutters & Contractors Association http://www.turfcuttersandcontractors.com/
The Irish Peatland Conservation Council-IPCC http://www.ipcc.ie/