Big Brexit question mark over EU legal action against UK government for failing to protect Walshaw Moor

Following the EU Referendum vote, Linda McAvan MEP has said it’s unclear what effect the vote for the UK to leave the EU is going to have on the EU Commission’s pursuit of the Ban the Burn complaint about violations of EU Natura 2000 protections on Walshaw Moor Estate.

Linda said that she can’t give a definitive  answer to this question, since all is up in the air, but she guesses that given that EU legal cases are premised on continued EU membership,  she can’t see why the Commission would invest time in pursuing the prosecution if the UK is going to be out of the EU.   Continue reading

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Vote remain! EU Commission has started legal process against UK government for conservation breaches on Walshaw Moor Estate

Here is a reason to remain in the EU – the European Commission has started a legal process against the UK government for:

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Help monitor blanket bog burning on Walshaw Moor – Tuesday 15 March

Walshaw Moor Estate grouse shooting business is burning the blanket bog to such an extent that it is exposing and breaking the surface of the peat. This is not allowed under the conditions of the Estate’s Environmental Stewardship Agreement with Natural England.

Upper Calderdale Wildlife Group are monitoring the burning but they need help. If you’d like to learn how to be a burning monitor, please join them at 2pm on Tuesday 15 March at  Widdop Gate, at the start of the track to Gorple Lower reservoir (on the left hand side of the road coming from Hebden Bridge). Continue reading

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Call for landowners to stop upland heather burning as new research shows link to increased flood risk

New research from Leeds University into the impacts of permitted heather burning on upland peat bog shows that for the 20% biggest storms, the flow of water over land is higher than in areas where the moorland has not been burnt.

This will contribute to “flashy” river flows in the valleys below the moors, with the water level rising quickly and causing flooding. Continue reading

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New moorland burning research vindicates #HebdenBridge Ban the Burn campaign

The Moorland Burning Season started on October 1st and carries on until next April.

Over the last two years, Hebden Bridge-based group Ban the Burn has been challenging Natural England’s decision to allow the grouse-shooting Walshaw Moor Estate to burn moorland above the town.

The Estate does this in order to make conditions more suitable for raising red grouse – despite the fact that Walshaw Moor is a protected Natura 2000 Site – an area of peatland and blanket bog that is a site of special scientific interest and home to various plants and wildlife that are protected by law. Continue reading

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Source public meeting on Upper Calder Valley water and land management

Aside

Organised by the Source, there is a public presentation on water and land management in the Upper Calder Valley on Tuesday 23rd September 2014, Waterside Room, Hebden Bridge Town Hall – 7pm – 9pm.

The speakers are Robin Gray (Pennine Prospects), Andrew Coen (Environment Agency) and Viki Hirst (University of Leeds). Continue reading

Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

George Monbiot in the pulpit – rewilding is a source of hope and a challenge to the 1%

Joking that he felt like an old-time hell-fire preacher speaking from the pulpit of Hope Baptist Church, George Monbiot instead brought a vision of hope to the packed audience yesterday at Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.

Launching a national rewilding group – [ now launched, one year on] – he extolled the delights of an environment where biodiverse plants, insects and animals flourish thanks to the reintroduction of keystone species at the top of the food chain – such as beavers, pine martins and wolves. Continue reading

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Natural England staff stay home to avoid Don’t Fund Flooding! protest

Ban the Burn protesters, bearing mops and buckets, visited the Head Office of Natural England this morning to deliver a clear message- DON’T FUND FLOODING – only to find that Natural England had advised staff to stay away from the office rather than face the protesters from Hebden Bridge, which suffered major flooding twice in the summer of 2012.

The protesters managed to hand over their petition to one remaining member of staff in the office.

The protesters wanted to tell Natural England that action on reducing run-off from the uplands is urgent, in order to minimise flood risk downstream.
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Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.

Thanks to the 349 people who signed #BanTheBurn petition

Thanks to the 349 people who signed the Ban the Burn petition (including one enthusiastic or forgetful person who signed it twice!).

The petition calls on Natural England and Defra to ban heather burning and drainage ditches on blanket bogs, and stop loopholes in the Heather and Grass Burning Code, and other relevant regulations and laws, that can be used to create exemptions to the ban on burning and draining blanket bogs.

I’ve now posted the petition (with all 12 pages of the list of signatories) to Andrew Wood, Executive Director Evidence and Policy at Natural England, and George Eustice MP, Defra Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for farming, food and marine environment.
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Posted from Hebden Bridge, England, United Kingdom.