We cut peats by hand for domestic fuel, as islanders have done for at least a thousand years. This is very small scale, and does little damage to the moorland as the top turf is carefully removed and replaced so that it will regrow. The proposed windfarm would destroy many of the traditional peat-cutting areas and make the remainder unpleasant to work in, so would spell the end of this traditional activity on the west side of Lewis.
We cut our years supply of peat in early May each year (see photo below). Our peat-banks were started by my great-uncle, passed on to my parents, and are now used by my sister and I. They are a long-term investment and are carefully managed: the top turf is replaced so that it can regrow, and the banks are designed so that they will not interfere with watercourses. After several stages of lifting and turning the peats are dry enough to take home by tractor and stack. The peat-cutting areas are a bird-lovers paradise, alive with the calls of nesting waders. They are also where LWP wish to site most of their turbines.