Belfast Telegraph

Final call to take the plunge for bog swim

By Amanda Ferguson

The last call has gone out for brave swimmers to take part in the 2014 Northern Ireland Bog Snorkelling Championship.

If you have the stomach for this quirky competition it is taking place on July 27 at Peatlands Park near Dungannon.

The annual event is organised by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) to raise awareness of the need to protect and conserve boglands.

Making a final call for competitors Colin Gates, assistant warden at Peatlands Park, said: "This energetic sport is very popular. Competitors have to swim up to two lengths of a 60-yard (55m) bog drain with the aid of a snorkel, mask and flippers and without using any conventional swimming strokes. Anyone over the age of 12 can have a go. It's free to enter and swimming in fancy dress is optional but brilliant craic."

The event coincides with International Bog Day to highlight the plight of peat bogs, 96% of which have been destroyed since 1945. Entry packs are available from the Visitor's Centre at Peatlands Park or by telephoning (028) 3885 1102.

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