UK government stonewalls EU investigation into blanket bog burning

The EU Commission has invited Hebden Bridge campaigners to comment on findings from the first stage of its investigation into Natural England’s 2012 management agreement and Higher Level Stewardship agreement with Walshaw Moor Estate Ltd (WMEL).

Both agreements cover Walshaw Moor Estate Ltd ’s intensified use of the moors for its grouse shooting business.

Continue reading

Ban the Burn takes blanket bog campaign to Brussels

The European Commission is to investigate the legality of Environmental Stewardship payments to Walshaw Moor Estate.

Hebden Bridge campaigners who want a ban on burning and draining blanket bog – a rare, priority protected habitat – are challenging the legality of a £2.5 million Environmental Stewardship Agreement (ESA) that Natural England has awarded the grouse-shooting Walshaw Moor Estate, part of the South Pennines Site of Special Scientific Interest and Natura 2000 site.

In Brussels on 10th January, Hebden Bridge resident Dongria Kondh asked Jean Francois Brakeland, head of the European Commission’s unit for enforcing EU environmental law in the UK, to investigate whether Natural England and the Defra Secretary of State acted unlawfully in deciding that Walshaw Moor Estate’s grouse shooting operations would not adversely affect the integrity of the protected moors.

Continue reading

Can Natural England really enforce the law on Walshaw Moor Estate?

Since the Ban The Burn! campaign launched, a few people have been asking for  information about the legal battles between Natural England and Walshaw Moor Estate(WME) that began when Natural England issued a Notice of Modification of Consent to WME in 2010.

Continue reading