Peatland restoration on Islay

ACT is one of eleven partners in the Collaborative Action for the Natura Network project (CANN) consortium working to save peatlands and wetlands across Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

Peatlands, wetlands, and several of the species that rely on them, face many challenges. Over the next five years, a unique team of leading researchers, scientists, local authorities, charities and community groups from Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland aims to deal with the decline in these habitats.  As stores of carbon, peatlands and wetlands are important in helping to tackle climate warming; as homes for nature they are special and unique; and as the raw ingredient of rural farming, tourism and crofting they are vital. They offer a range of vital ecosystems services, such as filtering of drinking water, regulation of water flows in the wider catchment and carbon sequestration.

This project is a recognition that solutions must be found to secure the future of these areas so these services can continue to be provided for future generations. Europe has prioritised these habitats and species because of their international importance and the threats they face. Protection of these habitats and species will allow the associated region to meet targets set under the EU’s Birds and Habitats Directives and the EU Biodiversity Strategy.



Our work is focused on two peatland sites on the island of Islay – the Rinns and Duich Moss. Over the five years of the project we will manage a number of activities including surveying and monitoring the sites, collecting environmental data, controlling invasive species, particularly Rhododendron ponticum, developing deer management plans to reduce herbivore damage, and developing conservation action plans for the sites.

CANN partnerships and funding

This project is funded through the EU’s INTERREG VA Programme until 2022. The CANN partnership is led by Newry, Mourne & Down District Council and the other partners are Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, East Border Region, Golden Eagle Trust, The Institute of Technology Sligo, Monaghan County Council, Nature Scot, Ulster University, and Ulster Wildlife. 

You can find out more about the CANN project in this film as well as on the official website here, and in their biannual newsletters listed below.

A subtitled version of the film is available here.

CANN Newsletters

CANN_newsletter#1_- December2018.pdf

CANN_newsletter#2_- June2019.pdf

CANN_newsletter#3_- December2019.pdf 


CANN newsletter#5 - Winter2020.pdf

CANN newsletter#6 - Summer2021.pdf

CANN newsletter #7 - Winter2021.pdf

Contact CANN

To find out more about the CANN project on Islay contact:

Angharad Ward, ACT CANN Conservation Officer: [email protected]; 07398298496

Deb Baker, ACT CANN Project Islay Site Co-ordinator: [email protected]; 07375893064