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Teaching Resources


For complete access to all the resources listed on this page, please register your school's interest in the MindBOGgling programme by completing the FORM and we'll be in touch

Section 1 - Introduction to the Boglands of Ireland

  • The bog – What is it?

  • Distribution of peatlands globally and in Ireland.

  • Raised bogs, blanket bogs and fens – How do they form and how do they differ?

  • Why are bogs important to us: industry and economy; history and culture; tourism and recreation; environmental protection.

  • Peat as fuel – Saving the turf and industrial harvesting.

  • Bogs preserving history.

Section 2 - The Boglands and Environmental Protection

  • Climate change and the IPCC report of August 2021.

  • Bogs and the carbon cycle.

  • Bogs as part of the climate change solution.

  • Biodiversity and its importance.

  • Biodiversity on the Bog – Plants, birds, animals and insects.

Section 3 - Introduction to Drug Discovery from Nature

  • Biodiversity and medicines.

  • An example of a medicine from nature: medicine from the foxglove.

  • The Drug Development Pipeline and identifying leads in drug discovery.

  • The discovery of penicillin, an example of serendipity.

  • The discovery of artemisinin, an example of discovery based on traditional use.

Section 4 - Unlocking Nature's Pharmacy from Bogland Species

  • Traditional Knowledge as a resource for drug discovery in NatPro.

  • Introduction to the National Folklore Collection and the Dúchas project.

  • Introduction to the School’s Folklore Scheme of 1937.

  • Collecting Traditional Medicinal Knowledge in our community.

Section 5 - The NatPro Research Pipeline - I

  • In both this section and section 6, students should gain insight into how research is conducted in NatPro.

  • How a plant in the bog becomes a plant extract in the lab and how these plant extracts are purified and evaluated.

  • Plant extraction and chemical properties such as lipophilicity and acid base character are introduced.

Section 6 - The NatPro Research Pipeline - II

  • This section introduces techniques used in NatPro for separation of plant extracts into purified components and their chemical characterisation and evaluation.

  • Chromatography - including Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).

  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)

  • Mass Spectrometry

  • Cell Culture


Additional Resources

Assessing the quality of Peatland Habitats - A Peatlands Habitat Score Card has been developed by the Wild Atlantic Nature LIFE Integrated Project of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Adapted for students, it may be a useful guide to habitat assessment as part of a field trip or larger project on Irish boglands. Download the score card (in pdf) here.

The nine-year Wild Atlantic Nature LIFE Integrated Project aims to improve Ireland’s conservation of important ecological areas with a focus on blanket bog, working with farmers and communities to improve habitat quality and the ecosystem services they provide including clean water, carbon storage and biodiversity.