The Slieve Blooms Mountains Nature Reserve covers a vast tract of land within counties Laois and Offaly. It was first established in 1985 to ensure the protection of the mountain blanket bog ecosystem which is so important ecologically.
One of the most serious threats to the nature reserve is the spread of conifer trees from surrounding plantations. As well as altering the water levels and water flow on the blanket bog, the spreading conifers alter the characteristic bogland flora and fauna of the site. NPWS has been removing conifers from the nature reserve for several years. However, this will require ongoing management as trees in adjacent plantations continue to produce seed. Some of the old drainage ditches have been blocked to raise the water table and aid habitat recovery. Other management activities within the nature reserve include erosion and access control, law enforcement, species and habitat condition monitoring.