Clara Bog Visitor Centre - Clara
Clara Bog Visitor Centre is located in the library in Clara, county Offaly. It gives visitors to the area a compelling insight into the bog and is very informative. The well laid out interactive interpretive area deals with topics like, the development of peatlands; biodiversity of raised bogs: the history and archaeology associated with raised bogs, as well as some individual facts about Clara Bog and its wildlife. Staff are friendly and obliging and will happily answer any questions. They will also point out what visitors can see at the bog and where to look. It is probably best to visit here before going to the bog so you know a little about this natural phenomenon.
The Visitor Centre also offers walks, talks, workshops as well as other educational activities aimed at both adults and children. It serves to educate and help in the preservation of this unique and declining landscape. It is a great research and learning facility.
It is about a five minute drive to Clara Bog from the Visitor Centre.
Clara Bog is one the finest surviving examples of a relatively intact raised bog in Western Europe, at one time raised bogs would have covered 310,000 hectares in Ireland but today just 7% still survives. The bog extends to 464 hectares. Visitors can take the boardwalk that passes through the Clara Bog Nature Reserve, it is a well sign-posted one kilometre looped walk on Clara Bog, and has interpretive panels along its length. It allows visitors to see the many great variety of plants, birds and animals that have their home in this unique environment. Many of the wildlife species found here are protected.
Clara Bog is a naturally wet environment with numerous hidden dangers like deep pools and quaking surfaces so it is best to stay on the boardwalk. Classic aspects of the bog are hummocks, hollows, lawns, pools and flushes. It is suggested that visitors wear sturdy footwear, as it can be wet and slippery. Visitors can soak up the atmosphere and revel in the peace and tranquility of the picturesque area.