Somerset Peat: Past, Present and Future
Helen Mark uncovers why peat makes the Somerset Levels a special place to visit, not just for the wildlife. Since earliest times humans have exploited this natural resource. Its wetlands once supported Lake Villagers whose secrets lay buried deep beneath the feet of the modern archaeologist keen to uncover what these wetlands preserves for millennia.
A mere 50 years ago the extraction of peat was a major industry employing hundreds of people. It was cut for fuel, for horticulture, even animal feed. That industry has all but faded into history and Helen visits one of the last remaining extraction companies. Once this landscape was scarred by man, littered by trackways and industry, yet today what remains of this scarred is being managed to return it to another use. Helen discovers the memories of those who walked this peatland landscape are enjoyed by a new visitor, the nature watcher.
Producer Andrew Dawes.