British Wildlife 23.2 December 2011

Letter from the far West Coast

"Next to the scythe, the rustiest tool in my shed is certainly the sléan, the spade with a metal wing for cutting sods of peat from the bog. Dried as 'turf'' and stacked by the tonne, these nake a glowing, fragrant fuel for the hearth. I wielded the sléan for years until, like most of my neighbours, surrendering hard labour to the tractor-driven machine and staying gratefully away from the mountain and its midges."

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