Concern at Glenveagh park habitat destructionWednesday 06 November 2013 22.31
The Irish Wildlife Trust has expressed concern that large areas of sensitive habitat are being destroyed illegally at Glenveagh National Park in Co Donegal.
The trust said it surveyed four areas of the park in October where machines were being used to extract what it described as "large volumes of turf on a commercial scale".
The trust also said there was extensive illegal dumping of tyres and household debris within the boundary of the park.
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, which has responsibility for Glenveagh National Park, has said the right to harvest turf exists in three specific areas on the periphery of the park.
It said the lands in question in Glenveagh are blanket bogs, which are not part of the network of raised bogs where turf-cutting is no longer allowed.
Following concerns raised by the Irish Wildlife Trust, the department said it is examining the recent cutting to ascertain how it was carried out and if it is in accordance with the extent of existing rights.
It said that any incidence of dumping uncovered in the park is taken seriously, adding that it is working with Donegal County Council to prevent illegal dumping and deal with any incidences when they arise.