11th August rally to ban grouse shooting, St George’s Sq, #HebdenBridge 11.30am

The moors above Hebden Bridge are some of Yorkshire’s most iconic beauty spots – and also a vital source of biodiversity, a huge natural carbon sink and a natural means of slowing the flow of pluvial flooding into the Upper Calder Valley – if not mismanaged for grouse shooting.

Yorkshire Water has put them in jeopardy. The company lets out uplands to grouse shooters who decimate the wildlife for sport by trap and gun. Not only this – large sections of heather are deliberately burnt to increase game bird numbers, destroying blanket bog and contributing to flooding in the valley and other sections of the county. By leasing out land for grouse shooting, Yorkshire Water is damaging wildlife, habitat, visitor experiences and the regional economy.

What shall we do? Saturday 11 August is the day before the start of the grouse shooting season. We will hold a respectful protest in Hebden Bridge’s Town Square to urge Yorkshire Water to stop leasing land above the town for grouse shooting. Continue reading

Call for landowners to stop upland heather burning as new research shows link to increased flood risk

New research from Leeds University into the impacts of permitted heather burning on upland peat bog shows that for the 20% biggest storms, the flow of water over land is higher than in areas where the moorland has not been burnt.

This will contribute to “flashy” river flows in the valleys below the moors, with the water level rising quickly and causing flooding. Continue reading

BanTheBurn! campaign launch – info & live blog

Ban the Burn! campaign lifts off.

Ban The Burn campaigners launched a national campaign on Sunday evening, August 12th, in Hebden Bridge. The Ban the Burn! campaign aims are:

  • a ban on burning and draining blanket bog
  • an end to loopholes in the Heather & Grass Burning Code and other regulations
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Natural England refuses request for information about Walshaw Estate peat burning

Earlier this year, Natural England dropped a legal action which attempted to ban the owner of Walshaw Moor from burning  peat bogs.  I found this a bit odd and put in an Environmental Information Regulations request to Natural England, to try and find out what was going on.

Request to disclose Natural England’s expert witness statement

I asked Natural England to disclose the contents of the witness statement about Walshaw Moor land management, that Natural England’s Executive Director for Science, Evidence and Advice had prepared for a proposed judicial review that the High Court ordered into Natural England’s attempt to ban burning on Walshaw Moor.
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