For Peat’s Sake.
Uh-oh. What’s wrong?
Nothing. All good. It is the title of a BBC Scotland documentary – part of the Our Lives strand – that delves into the fascinating history and cultural lore of peat.
Tell me more.
From ancient rituals and its links with the whisky industry to being used for centuries as a source of fuel for cooking and domestic heating, peat is woven into the fabric of Scottish life.
Filmed over half a year on Lewis, the programme follows some of the islanders who, each spring, embark upon the annual peat-cutting season.
Who are the stars?
Well, there’s 81-year-old Domhnull Iain. He is coming to terms with the stark prospect of this being his last year out on the peats. He first learned the cherished skills aged five but is now beginning to feel the physical toil take its toll.
Domhnull, a former seaman, has travelled the world but says the peatland of Ness, at the north of Lewis, remains his “favourite spot on Earth.”
Another colourful character is Danny Mackay who drives a red tractor nicknamed “Wabash Cannonball” after the classic country song.
He says: “As you cut down through the peat you’re also cutting down through time, knowing that you’re carrying on a tradition connecting yourselves to the past.”
When can I watch?
Our Lives: For Peat’s Sake is on BBC One, Wednesday, 7.30pm.