A brief review is given of the consolidation theory for fibrous peat and additional solutions presented for the important practical case of a time-dependent rate of loading. The application of the theory is illustrated by reference to a recent study to assess the possible use of preloading to reclaim some 200 acres of peat land for building purposes. The investigation involved a series of single increment vertical consolidation and permeability tests on 250 mm diam. by 75 mm thick undisturbed samples of the peat. The increments were maintained for up to 3 years, to define the long-term secondary compression behaviour. A summary of the results is presented, together with the predicted field consolidation curve and estimate of the required surcharge.