There is no peat now generally sold for burning in England. Here is my reply.
Don’t – if it is in the form of compressed briquettes from Ireland (or Scotland ?). In any case, peat isn't suitable for an enclosed stove as it will either burn away too quickly or not produce any heat.
As with commercial plant compost, peat briquettes are the result of scraping peat by heavy machinery off low-lying flat moorland (i.e. the Great Bog of Allen in central Ireland) and are the result of ecological and archaeological destruction.
Because of Ireland's lack of coal, the Irish pioneered peat-fired power stations after independence in 1922. During the later ‘economic war’ with Britain and, subsequently, World War II, coal could not be imported from Wales. Three peat-fired power-stations are still in operation in county Offaly.
Malcolm and I both occasionally (and separately) burn hand-dug peat - from county Monaghan and offered door-to-door from a man in a van.
It has to be dug with great effort with very special spades (about which whole learned books have been published), then thrown up onto the moorland, stacked in little piles,
|Maggie Land Blanck Collection|
For open-hearth cooking-recipes and more information on the harvesting and use of peat in Scotland and mainland Europe, as well as Ireland, click here.