No-burn management of Geltsdale blanket bog and heath is restoring habitats and wildlife

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Grouse moor owners and their allies claim heather burning on peatland is necessary for habitat restoration and reduction of wildfire risk.

The RSPB’s management of Geltsdale reserve in Cumbria shows that this is not the case. Continue reading

Ban the Burn, Treesponsibility and others call on Gove to ban burning of upland peatlands in England

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Ban the Burn and Treesponsibility are among a group of charities, academics and local campaigners with a track record of working on peatland conservation, which has today written to Michael Gove urging him to implement a complete ban on the practice of burning on upland peatland habitats.

A ban is vital in order to protect carbon stores, wildlife, habitats and communities.

We have seen plenty of evidence of continued burning on protected peatland this year, despite the government’s introduction of a voluntary ban on burning.

The lack of compliance with the voluntary ban on burning is likely to worsen, thanks to Natural England’s recent ‘restoration burning’ position statement. Continue reading

RSPB asks European Commission to investigate Natural England’s “probably unlawful” activities regarding Walshaw Moor Estate

After six months of investigation, the RSPB has decided that Natural England has failed in its duties to enforce wildlife and habitat protection laws on Walshaw Moor Estate, and has asked the European Commission to step in.

Mike Clarke, RSPB chief executive, said

The decision to lodge this complaint has not been taken lightly, but this is a vitally important issue which centres on the Government’s statutory duty to protect our natural environment.

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