Notes from a remote island


What have you got against @coco ??


Does it matter if it all gets rained on or will you throw some tarps over it all?


Is the area well enough managed? It appears to be quite environmentally good if extraction is limited and it’s allowed to replenish. How does it work - are you allocated an area or something?


Not really, the peats will still dry in the wind. Obviously they dry better with no rain, but they will still dry enough in the wind unless it is torrential for days on end. Nobody uses tarps to cover them. Some put them on pallets to help the air circulate and some just rely on the springy heather to do the same.


It’s very carefully managed. You buy a license (Island residents only) and choose a bank from what is available. You can then cut as much peat as you need but for your own consumption. You are strictly not allowed to sell it.

There is no replenishment, there are no trees here. Mind you, there’s a LOT of peat. I would imagine it would take hundreds of years to deplete it at the current rate and regulations. There is no commercial peat cutting allowed anywhere in Shetland.


Interesting, is it not replenished by grassland then?


Only at a vanishingly slow rate. There are some mires where it is still forming, so they will be usable at some point in the distant future.


We used to do the same when I was a kid on holidays in the South-West of Ireland. You would cut peat and then just stack it to dry via the wind. The peat stacks were also used as a form of wind break as the fuel for domestic use was stacked against the side of the house. I don’t recall any tarpaulins being used either, but maybe they went on in September after we had left.


Cut an additional 20% in case you need it


That’s pretty much the plan, but I have a tonne of coal here and a store full of cut timber to fall back on if I need to.


Sounds pretty similar to my youth in West Cork. We’d always bring back a few bricks for the fire in London and save them for Christmas. Always loved the smell of the peat at that time of the year.


Nothing, but the AA needs someone to get in the wickerman. We can then make him a saint.


Peat cutting - day two

It took 3 1/2 hours to ‘lay out’ the peats we cut on Wednesday. Didn’t realise how much we had cut until we had to handle them again!

Then cut a load more which we placed on the opposite bank

We’ve decided to go back in a fortnight to stack them for final drying

My body is now a temple. Sadly a ruined one


Heats you three times does peat.

Walking to it.

Cutting and stacking it.

Burning it.

Scientific fact.


You missed the bit about getting the dried peats 100 yards to the nearest track, loading them on to a trailer, offloading them once home and stacking them in the fuel store…


You seem to have missed the whole bit about pipes that bring a usefully flammable substance right into your house.


Id rather dig peat and save the money.


There is always Jim if slightly more portability is required. :slight_smile:


More? Not when installed in the sweet spot at a bakeoff.


^^ Nothing that a sack barrow, a shoe horn and a bit of commitment wouldn’t sort out.