Bradford council votes unanimously against heather burning on Ilkley Moor

imgID40651338Last night Bradford Council voted unanimously (9/9) to recognise the significant environmental harm caused by heather burning and to implement a heather cutting programme. Burning has been retained for circumstances where it can be clearly shown as the only option available, which will require a substantial cost/benefit analysis to prove – not easy at all. This marks a significant departure from ‘traditional’ management of the moor for shooting.
Perhaps even more significantly, the campaign also secured a public consultation on the long-term management of the moor.  That is such good news.
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8 Replies to “Bradford council votes unanimously against heather burning on Ilkley Moor”

  1. Hooray, hooray. Just a pity the shooting syndicate have just burnt loads of the Moor anyway in October. Still, one step nearer to a ban. Thanks Mark and all who contacted the Council.

  2. Undoubtedly the sentiment behind this move is good. However, though the management solution may be suitable for Ilkley Moor. It is not likley to be suitable for all moors or all parts of all moors. Indeed fire is a natural occurrence on moorland, if only at lengthy return times, and the use of fire for vegetation management is a tool that most moorland managers would not wish to lose. The burning of moorland too frequently is, in my opinion, the greatest problem. In addition a rotational period for one area of moorland is not necessarily suitable for another.

  3. Great news Mark, this and 4 Scottish Grouse moor licenses being suspended. It looks like people are at last starting to hear the word.
    Maybe the tide is finally starting to turn? Let's hope so, keep piling on the pressure!

  4. Is this the breakthrough that some seem to think it is? Every "concession" made by the grouse shooting industry could strengthen their justification for continuing their barbaric sport. Have the optimists seen the damage that can be caused by cutting, on wet heaths and blanket bogs? Renewal of heather growth by natural fire is extremely rare in our climate, and if left to nature the cycle is driven by heather beetle and disease. The healthiest of dwarf shrub heath ecosystems are those we leave primarily to nature but where we inhibit natural succession by light grazing. It's time to value our heather clad peatlands and protect them in their own right as a rare world habitat, and the wildlife that relies on them. I can't see that happening without abandoning all grouse shooting and its attendant destructive land management practices.

    According to Peter, four grouse moor licenses have ben suspended in Scotland, more "good news." However that's the first I've heard of it - could he be referring to the two grouse moors (four estates) which have had their general licenses suspended for three years? All that does is prevent these moors from killing crows and gulls, which every decent ecologist knows makes only marginal difference to grouse stocks, if any. According to the Scottish Government, "rigorous monitoring" will be effected to ensure crow traps, etc., are not being set. What is really needed is independent rigorous monitoring, on these estates, of the breeding Hen Harriers and other persecuted raptors to ensure their survival.


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