Peat. The Dark Stuff. It fascinates both of our speakers opening the second day of the festival. Art historian, Robin A Crawford delves Into The Peatlands of the Outer Hebrides over the course of the year, explaining how they have been created and examining how peat has been used from the Bronze Age onwards. But he also turns his gaze to include many other aspects, including the wildlife and folklore associated with these lonely, watery places.

Playwright-poet, Donald S. Murray spent much of his childhood either playing or working on the moor, on the Isle of Lewis, chasing sheep across empty acres and cutting and gathering peat for fuel. His talk extends from Lewis and the Highlands to the Netherlands and Australia, unpicking how this landscape affected him and the ways that, for centuries, humans have represented the moor in literature, art and folktale.

Together their conversation is a fascinating discourse on this most Scottish of materials.

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