Ban the Burn campaigners’ glorious walk to sadly degraded Walshaw Moor blanket bog

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Hebden Bridge residents and business people gathered in St Georges Square at 9am on 12th and 13th August – the start of the grouse shooting season – to protest against the devastation of Walshaw Moor’s blanket bog and other habitats by industrial – scale grouse rearing. They then walked up to Walshaw Moor for a picnic and fun day that included checking the state of the blanket bog. Continue reading

Moorland picnics and fun days

Hebden Bridge people will gather in St Georges Square at 9am on 12th and 13th August to protest the not-so-glorious 12th August, traditionally the start of the grouse shooting season.

It is widely accepted that mismanagement of the Walshaw Moor blanket bogs for intensive grouse rearing has contributed to three severe floods in Hebden Bridge over the last four years, and downstream in the Calder Valley.

Some households and businesses have still not recovered from the terrible Boxing Day flood last year, when the town centre was under up to five feet of filthy water. Continue reading

Grouse shooting: environmentally destructive big business

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Grouse moor owners, supported by millions of pounds of taxpayer subsidies, brutally kill and maim a huge number of wild animals and leave vast swathes of precious peatland drained burnt dry and scarred with vehicle tracks. This is all so that unnaturally large populations of red grouse can be nurtured as live targets for ‘guns’. Here are some Animal Aid videos about the intensively-managed grouse moor on Walshaw Moor Estate above Hebden Bridge, ahead of the Inglorious 12th August.

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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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Conservationist Mark Avery tells Hebden Bridge Ban the Burn meeting driven grouse shooting can’t go on

Hebden Bridge resident Myra James reports on Mark Avery’s talk at the Trades Club on 14th October 2015

Conservationist and campaigner Mark Avery came to Hebden Bridge Trades Club to speak to a sizeable audience, hosted by Ban the Burn, about his new book, Inglorious: Conflict in the Uplands and his campaign for driven grouse shooting to be banned. Continue reading

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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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.