(Work in progress – there are many new works on peatlands appearing!) 

There are many different ways that peatlands are part of cultural life, though we many not often pause to think about them all.

This page gives a flavour of the diverse ways in which we relate to peatlands and wetlands, how they are valued and contribute to living heritage. It supports the project Peatland Connections by helping make links within the Galloway Glens, and beyond.

More ideas about Peat Cultures?

Many people are very knowledgeable about different aspects of peatlands. Perhaps you may think about mosses and flows in terms of their Gaelic or Scots place-names? Or you are interested in bog archaeology, or medicinal and edible plants? You may be a bird-watcher, or your focus might be landscape photography or painting. Makers and designers also may use peatland products, or find inspiration from mosses and flows. Historically, peat has been dug for fuel using traditional methods; in some areas it is milled industrially. Landscapers and ground-workers have their own vocabulary and methods to describe their work.  Environmental scientists use survey methods and a specific terminology to describe peat formation and the different processes at play in wetlands. For a walker, a mountain-biker or hill-runner, the chances are that peatlands are part of your life. We may be aware of mosses tacitly, as a squelchy surface to negotiate – or directly as a topic of poetry, of creative writing, and of natural histories.

If you have an idea of something to contribute please get in touch via


A developing Anthology of Peat Cultures

Please click on the images below for further information

Further resources

• Donald S. Murray. (2018) The Dark Stuff: Stories from the Peatlands. Bloomsbury: London

An examination of how a childhood in the peatland landscapes of The Isle of Lewis affected the author, who travels to gain other perspectives. An important perspective when people are being asked to love landscapes that were previously despised.

•  Giblett, R. (1996) Postmodern Wetlands: Culture, History, Ecology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Literary criticism of works relating to ‘Black Waters’  with an impassioned plea to help save them.

University of Cork conference  Transdisciplinary Conversations on Peatlands

This link provides a variety of perspectives. In one of the blogposts Manchán Magan explains how Joseph Beuys awakened interest in peatlands:

For Beuys bogs were: “the liveliest elements in the European landscape, not just from the point of view of flora, fauna, birds and animals, but as storing places of life, mystery and chemical change, preservers of ancient history.”




Ramsar Culture Network  –  Thematic Group: Art 

Home Turf Project: An integrated approach to the long-term development, cultural connections and heritage management of Dutch raised bogs (Wageningen University & Research), funded by the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Peatpolis – documentation of an exhibition in the Netherlands, 2003


A microblog on Twitter 

is as a microblog of different kinds of peat culture and also water-themed artwork, especially wetlands. This aims to help make Peatland Connections with Crichton Carbon Centre –    and to gather inspiration from