heather burning in Yorkshire
heather burning in Yorkshire

If you had decided to enjoy our wonderful local moorland last week, while the Glasgow Cop26 talks on the climate crisis were taking place, you would very likely have experienced the foul smell and low visibility caused by burning heather. Despite a promise by the government to ban this practice and stop dangerous greenhouse gases being emitted, permits are continuing to be granted to start fires on grouse moorland like ours.

Environmentalists have for many years condemned the practice of setting light to upland peatlands that are rich in wildlife, which is done in winter to ensure grouse have new, more nutritious shoots of heather to eat before they are shot for sport.

But the burning releases carbon into the atmosphere, adding to the climate crisis. The UK has 13 per cent of the world’s blanket bog, which store more than 3,000 million tons of carbon.

Defending heather burning for grouse shooting your MP Robert Goodwill stated in a Parliamentary debate on the subject “that to ban grouse shooting would be an act of environmental, ecological and economic vandalism—not to mention a gastronomic disaster for many people in this country?” Can we really trust Mr Goodwill to protect our environment and ensure a sustainable future for our families and communities?

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