“Burning heather is the same as getting your hair cut“, according to Tim (Kim) Baynes of the Scottish Moorland Group.
Yes, I always look forward to visiting the hairdresser to have my hair doused with a fire accelerant and then lit with a blow torch.
The grouse-shooting industry’s latest outlandish claim comes as part of another PR damage limitation exercise, this time in a failed attempt to explain to the public why huge areas of grouse moor-dominated landscape are being set alight. You can read this latest propaganda piece here.
It’s true that burning can be a useful conservation tool in certain circumstances, on some habitat types and if used in moderation. However, the increasing intensity with which grouse moor managers burn sensitive upland moorland habitats is not a useful conservation tool. It’s actually far from it, despite the latest vacuous claims of the grouse shooting industry.
See here for the key findings of a recent study by scientists at Leeds University in to the effects of moorland burning on peatlands. Not many conservation benefits described here.
See here for the findings of a recent study by scientists from the RSPB in to the extent of moorland burning in the UK. Not many conservation benefits described here either. In fact burning was detected in 55% of Special Areas of Conservation and in 63% of Special Protection Areas. These sites are designated under EU legislation for their conservation value and yet many are in ‘unfavourable condition’ with burning identified as the primary cause.
And see here for Mark Avery’s view on how burning (combined with draining) is likely to be linked to increased flooding downstream.
Sign the petition calling for a ban on environmentally, economically and socially damaging driven grouse shooting HERE.
Photo of grouse moor ablaze, March 2016 (RPS).