Offbeat Video

By Kirstie Sutheran


This is the incredible way that peat has been harvested for over 100 years.

The peat is being harvested for use as fuel on the tiny Shetland Isles in Ronas Voe.

Amazingly, this traditional method is still being used by many people on the Shetland Isles as they have peat rights.

Esme Wilcock, 43, took this video of her dad, Bruce, 71, cutting the peat.

Esme said: “The peat is cut, left to dry, then stacked and eventually brought home where it is stored and used as fuel.

“There is a lot of peat in Shetland and a lot of householders have peat rights where they can cut their own peat.

“He’s cutting peat for fuel to be used for fuel in their house fires. They have two fires: a Rayburn that they cook from in the kitchen and an open fire in the sitting room.

“He uses a ripper to rip the turf of the top of the Peat Bank, (that is then laid in the bottom of the bank where it regenerates).

“He then uses a Tushkar to cut the wet sods of peat, they are then made into a wall at the top and the wind blows through and dries it, then it is stacked up and finally brought home to be sued as fuel. 

“He does it every year to give both him and my Mum fuel for their fires, usually by June he has all the peats in as long as they are dry, sometimes it can take longer to dry but usually all in by August

“I’m used to it he has done it every year since I was a child and we used to help him as kids. I am very proud of him he’s a dude.

“I didn’t think much of the video for me it was a memory in making that in future times I could watch it.”