Natural England to investigate grouse shooters’ unconsented burning and infrastructure construction on Walshaw Moor

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Natural England is to investigate a grouse-shooting estate’s recent burning of sphagnum moss and apparently unconsented construction of infrastructure on the highly-protected Natura 2000 site of Walshaw Moor, above Hebden Bridge.

Walshaw Moor Estate has undertaken these actions in order to intensify their industrial-scale grouse shooting business.

Natural England has agreed to investigate Walshaw Moor Estate’s:

  • apparent deepening and widening of ditches that they’ve been paid to block, on Heather Hill blanket bog
  • unconsented construction of steps up to newly constructed grouse shooting butts in deep peat/blanket bog adjacent to Hole Sike
  • apparently unconsented construction of a tarmac car park
  • burning which destroyed sphagnum moss
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Walshaw Moor Estate resumes burning – despite flood risk to Hebden Bridge

As is by now widely known, Walshaw Moor Estate’s annual burning on the protected “Natura 2000” uplands creates an increased risk of flooding in Calder Valley towns.

This is responsible for around 2.5-5% of the peak flow in Hebden Bridge during floods – roughly the difference between over-topping flood barriers in shop and home doorways, and staying below that level. Continue reading

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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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