Programme explores importance of peat

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Calum Angus MacKay examines the history of peat.
Calum Angus MacKay examines the history of peat.

PEAT and its production as a fuel is something that has been intrinsically linked to life for many in rural communities in Scotland – both island and mainland – for generations.

Artist, broadcaster and crofter Calum Angus MacKay was born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis, where he lives today. In a new Trusadh documentary on BBC Alba, he sets out to find out more about the unique relationship between people and peat, and to create a new artistic work that truly reflects what peat means to him.

In the past, cutting peat was something that was done out of necessity in some parts of rural Scotland, as it was the main source of domestic fuel. It was hard work, but a crucial part of family and community life. While fewer people are cutting peat today, it is still very much part of the social fabric of rural life, and still has a special place for many.

The programme explores that relationship through the experience of those who have been involved with peat over the years, and find out about how it differs from island to island, and indeed from community to community. The different traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation, the implements and the stories.

Peat – Mòine, produced by Mac TV for BBC Alba, will be broadcast tomorrow (Monday November 28) at 9pm.