It is worth watching the piece on moorland burning that went out on Countryfile last night. (Click here from 14mins – 25mins in)
There are claims that the system designed to protect [blanket bog] is not fit for purposehttps://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0002tww/countryfile-gloucestershire
Well done to Guy Shrubsole and Friends of the Earth! That dossier of burning on blanket bog includes some data from readers of this blog including the wonderful Bob Berzins (and I’m sure from others too, and from me) – so take a bow!
Amanda Anderson says that practically all of her members are signed up to the rather meaningless voluntary agreement – I put that alongside the raptor records she has never submitted for verification from her kitchen window.
The poor guy, David Stone, from Natural England! Are you frustrated by the rate of change? You could almost see the cogs going round in his head… long pause … sigh … shall I say ‘Yes, these upland landowners are a bloody nightmare and really don’t give a toss about the regulations, and we are a gutless regulator that has lost its way because a bunch of government ministers are mates with the miscreants’? Or shall I say ‘Nooooooo I’m not frustrated, these things take time, it’s about working with people in a voluntary way’? He made the right decision for his career but he didn’t really look (to me at least) as though his heart was in it. The answer summed up the lack of ambition and the failure of the regulator, NE, to use its muscle to protect the environment. Bring on Tony Juniper and let’s see Therese Coffey exit pursued by a Hen Harrier soon, please.
But at least NE is now investigating these burns – that wouldn’t have happened if it were not for FoE, the RSPB who kicked a lot of this off and then rather dropped the ball by not putting it in the public domain, people like Bob Berzins (though there are not many people like Bob Berzins) and readers of this blog. But it took us to make the regulator appear to do its job properly – and we have yet to see it done properly.
And the piece is covered in the Guardian too.