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Community / Peat casting allowed during lockdown, says government

Photo: Shetland News

THE SCOTTISH Government has confirmed that peat casting is allowed during the lockdown period – as long as guidance on social distancing and hygiene is followed.

Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said that peats were an “essential fuel”.

Responding to a request for clarification from Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart, Cunningham said: “I recognise the importance of peat as a domestic winter fuel source in parts of Scotland, and of the need to begin to cast peat now to ensure adequate personal supplies for next winter.

“As long as the published guidance on social distancing is followed, this collection of an essential fuel supply should be permissible. However, it is also essential that those undertaking this activity follow precautions such as not sharing tools and cleaning them thoroughly after use.”

Cunningham also confirmed that workers could be hired for the role if, again, social distancing advice was adhered to.

Wishart responded: “I am pleased that government has recognised the importance of peat to communities like Shetland and has clarified that casting is permitted during lockdown, provided individuals are following wider guidance on social distancing and hygiene.

“Peat is a significant winter fuel source for a number of households, so it’s important that this work can be carried out in the coming months.”