New Legislation on Heather Burning promises better peatland habitat
Posted on 30th January 2021
New Government Legislation announced to control heather burning and improve blanket bog
We applaud the Government’s announcement today of new legislation to prevent the burning of heather on protected blanket bog: this follows a 2020 report from the Committee on Climate Change which called for a ban on heather burning.
Over time the condition of peatland has declined, and measures are needed to put right the damage caused to the peatland habitat which is so important in North Yorkshire's upland areas.
Rotational burning of heather on the North York Moors and other areas takes place annually between October and April as part of management of the heather moors for grouse-shooting. Unfortunately, it degrades the peat which - when in good condition - provides water quality, biodiversity and carbon storage. Blanket bog is also highly significant in retaining water on higher ground and preventing the rapid run-off after rainfall which can cause flooding lower down as streams and rivers overflow.
We welcome this move by the Environment Secretary as part of the proposed Environmental Land Management Scheme which the Government is committed to implementing over the next six years.
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