The Wicklow Hills contain large areas of peatland known as ‘Blanket Bog’. Formed between 4,000 and 8,000 years ago, and made up of rotted vegetation following considerable climate change. The wetter conditions combined with impermeable ground conditions built up layer upon layer of decomposed vegetation compressed to form Peat. The peat can be up to 7 metres deep. The bogs were, in olden times, were the only source of fuel for the people of Wicklow and Dublin. The Peat or Turf was cut using a ‘Slean’ and laid out to dry on the hillside. When dry, it can be burned on your open fire. The old cuttings are clearly visable across the mountain. As the peatland is now protected, the cutting of turf is no longer allowed. Turf is still cut in parts of the midlands of Ireland but this is being phased out under EU directives.