Living Landscape

“Lewis has one of the world’s finest natural blankets over it. Deep-piled and multi-coloured, it is the product of thousands of years of slow growth. Wildlife of many kinds thrive in it, including birds now scarce elsewhere. People have watched it in the making, used and valued it, and still play a part in its continuing health.”

‘The Lewis Peatlands’, Kenny Taylor, Scottish Natural Heritage, 2003.

“Blanket bog is only found in few parts of the world with cool, wet, typically oceanic climates. Under these conditions bog mosses and other plants break down very slowly and gradually form a layer of peat. Peat depth varies, with an average between 0.5 and 3 metres but depths of up to 8 metres are not uncommon.

Blanket bog is found throughout the Scottish uplands but is most extensive in the north and west in areas with gentle slopes and poor drainage. It is the habitat that dominates the landscape of the gently undulating moorlands, particularly in the North Highlands and Western and Northern Isles.

Blanket bog is one of the most extensive semi-natural habitats in Scotland, covering some 1.8 million hectares, 23 % of our land area. Blanket bog is a rare habitat globally and Scotland holds a significant proportion of the European and world resource.”

Scottish Natural Heritage