Catchment News

Tapestry of Light – Ireland’s bogs and wetlands as never seen before

| in Education and Infographics, Stories

Tapestry of Light Silver netting of the dawn, Embroidered through the silent night, Woven into dewy webs, Suspended tapestry of light. Cobwebs greet the morning air, Strings of priceless jewels glistening, Veiling gateway, bush and tree, Lending wonder to our waking. Nature’s gift holds me enthralled, Treasure of the dawning day, Till the fairy breezes call, tealing all my dreams away


Tapestry of Light – Ireland’s bogs and wetlands as never seen before by Tina Claffey and published by Artisan House Connemara was launched on Thursday, 12th October, 2017 in Tailor’s Hall, Dublin.

Tapestry of Light is a stunningly beautiful book containing Tina Claffey’s unique perspective of the flora and fauna of the unspoilt raised bogs and wet woodlands of the Irish midlands. The habitat value of raised bogs arises from their rich diversity of flora such as bog-rosemary, cranberries, lichens and sundews, all of which thrive in the sphagnum mosses which also support a wide variety of fauna, including butterflies, moths, dragonflies, frogs and spiders.


The foreword to Tapestry of Light is by geologist, botanist and broadcaster, Dr John Feehan. The title ‘Tapestry of Light’ is taken from the eponymous poem by John Sheahan. John’s poetry is included in the book.

Tina’s interest in her home area and in particular the bogs and wetlands, she attributes to the influence of her father, to whom the book is dedicated, and to time spent in Botswana photographing pristine wilderness. ‘On my return to Ireland, I felt quite lost for some time but then I went on a field walk led by John Feehan in Killaun Bog. That walk was an epiphany for me. Here on my doorstep was a wilderness with as much significance as the Kalahari desert’.

Tapestry of light - Four Spot Chaser - Copy
Tapestry of light – Four Spot Chaser

Matthijs Schouten, ecologist and founder of the Dutch Foundation for the Conservation of Irish Bogs, launched the book, saying ‘Never before have I seen the magic of bogs captured so beautifully as in this book. The photographs and poems lead us into a truly enchanted world’.

Matthijs Schouten is Professor of restoration ecology at Wageningen University and also an adjunct professor at UCC, he became known as “the father of bog conservation in Ireland” and was knighted in 2004 by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for the prominent role he played in bringing the fate of Irish bogs to international attention. The foundation raised sufficient funds in the late 1980s to purchase three endangered sites – Scragh Bog, in Co Westmeath; Cummeragh River bog, in Co Kerry, and Clochar na gCon bog, in Co Galway – and gifted them to the Irish nation.

The book is available in two editions, a standard hardback edition and a special limited edition of 75 copies which contains gatefolds and an original print signed, dated and numbered by Tina Claffey which is suitable for framing.

Tapestry of Light - Devils Matchsticks
Tapestry of Light – Devils Matchsticks

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures to protect and restore our waters.