Somerset is a county renowned for its rural industries and flood plans known as ‘The Levels’.
These two features were combined in a distinctly Somerset business – the peat industry.
Peat is made from preserved plant matter found in bogs and wetlands.The people of Somerset used peat as a fuel to burn in home fires for cooking and heating. Peat was also used for building walls, and made money by selling it to other parts of the country.
The process of cutting and processing peat has employed men and women in Somerset since Roman times, and although now mechanised, the industry still continues to this day.
Images: South West Heritage Trust – A.DER.1, A.DER.2, A.DER.3, A.DER.5, A.DER.6
Audio: Gloucestershire Archives – Peter Lovell