Chapter

Bogs and People in Scotland since 1600<sup>*</sup>

T. C. Smout

in Exploring Environmental History

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780748635139
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651375 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635139.003.0006
Bogs and People in Scotland since 1600*

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Peatland is abundant with as much as 1.6 million hectares of the resource in the United Kingdom. Some of this, like the fens of Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire, have over the centuries been largely drained and turned into good agricultural land. Much, however, remains wetland. Blanket mire (also known as blanket bog) covers about a million hectares of Scotland. Raised bog, those remarkable domed structures of peat and sphagnum moss that receive all their moisture directly from the air rather than from streams running into them, cover a much smaller area, cover only about 27,000 hectares in Scotland. Of all this, little is unmodified by man, though much can still be classified as semi-natural. Only 9 per cent of the Scottish raised bogs and 11 per cent of the total UK mires even approach a pristine state. Cut, drained, planted, bulldozed away, mires, fens and bogs have attracted the attention of people from time immemorial.

Keywords: peatland; blanket bog; raised bogs; blanket mires

Chapter.  6138 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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