Falaisg (moor burning)

During the spring on Skye the crofters set fire to the moorland to clear the ground. This improves the grazing for cattle and sheep as well as controlling parasites such as ticks. The hills glow in the dark and the air is filled with the scent of burning heather. A close friend of mine who I have known for over 20 years, told me of the pleasure she felt as a child watching the moor alight during the night.


Days are longer, spring is near,

Time for Falaisg, the start of the year.

Crofters await for a time without rain,

To light the fires, flickering flame.

The plume rises and covers the land,

In smothering smoke; a hazy band.

Lapping flames with an orange glow,

Spread through the night; an amber flow.

A wondrous scene to see at night,

Warms our thoughts at the vivid sight.

A pleasant aroma fills the air,

While Crofter’s labour at, this time of year.

Clearing the ground, improving the graze,

A springtime custom, and a welcome blaze.

(Falaisg-moor burning (pronounced falash)

Sue Wood