NZ6514 : Moor burning, Stanghow Moor

taken 6 months ago, near to Charltons, Redcar And Cleveland, Great Britain

Moor burning, Stanghow Moor
Moor burning, Stanghow Moor
The Farming Today program on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday covered moorland management (it’s available LinkExternal link as a podcast for 28 days). On it was a representative from the Moorland Association who said that rotational burning of grouse moorland had been “voluntarily suspended”. If you are not aware, rotational burning is the practice when our heather moorlands are deliberately set on fire in order to encourage fresh shoots of heather with the sole purpose of maximising the grouse population for shooting.

There is serious scientific evidence that burning such as this seriously degrades the protected habitats of our uplands by drying out the thick peat thereby increasing the risk of wildfires. Carbon, which has taken millennia to accumulate in the deep peat, is released into the atmosphere and the risk of flooding downstream is increased by making the moors less able to retain rain runoff. The European Commission recognised this as a serious degradation of our moorlands and launched an investigation. To avoid upsetting wealthy landowners the Environment Secretary Michael Gove came up with a cunning plan. Instead of banning or regulating moorland burning he dreamt up a scheme by which landowners signed up to a voluntary pledge to cease rotational burning.

It is evident that not all landowners intend to sign up to Mr Gove’s scheme. This is on Stanghow Moor today as seen from the A171 at Birk Brow. In the far distance are further fires which I believe are on Codhill Heights owned by Guisborough Estate. (A drone photo on the Guisborough FaceBook page confirms this.) Should the government continue to allow this practice of burning then it faces legal action by the European Commission. Until we actually leave the EU of course then we can do what we like.

For more info. refer to this RSPB press release LinkExternal link

From my blog LinkExternal link
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NZ6514, 15 images   (more nearby )
Photographer
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Date Taken
Thursday, 18 October, 2018   (more nearby)
Submitted
Monday, 22 October, 2018
Geographical Context
Uplands  Farm, Fishery, Market Gardening  Business, Retail, Services  Moorland 
Primary Subject of Photo
Moorland 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 6579 1471 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:31.4050N 0:59.1038W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NZ 6590 1478
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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Other Tags
Muirbur  Moor  Heather  Burning  Grouse Moor  Grouse  GROUSE MANAGEMENT  Fire  Smoke 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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