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Exploring Environmental HistorySelected Essays$
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T. C. Smout

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635139

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635139.001.0001

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Bogs and People in Scotland since 1600*

Bogs and People in Scotland since 1600*

(p.99) CHAPTER 6 Bogs and People in Scotland since 1600*
Exploring Environmental History

T. C. Smout

Edinburgh University Press

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

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