From the Guardian…

Sir Stephen Houghton, the Labour leader of Barnsley council, said … there needed to be a review of whether agricultural practices upstream, such as the burning of heather moorland and removal of peat, were causing rainwater to rush downstream and rivers to burst their banks in residential areas.

PM urged to overhaul flood defence funding or risk ‘catastrophe’

He’s right, although if one looks at the bigger picture (unlike the Werritty report) then the fact that deliberate moorland burning is damaging blanket bogs that are already protected by wildlife legislation, and the evidence that burning increases water treatment costs, and the elephant in the room that driven grouse shooting depends on wildlife crime make the review somewhat unnecessary. The management regime on which driven grouse shooting depends is socially, environmentally and economically damaging. We know that intensive grouse shooting benefits the few at the expense of the many and we should quite simply move away from an outmoded Victorian hobby and start restoring ur uplands on a grand scale.

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3 Replies to “From the Guardian…”

  1. The future of the uplands should be led by carbon and water - both too much and too little - and we should be working back from these outcomes, not up from current outdated sectoral priorities.

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  2. I've often wondered if we can expect some movement by the royal family on this issue? How much of the 50 000 acre Balmoral estate is given over to grouse moor? We hear good things on the whole from Prince Charles about biodiversity loss, climate change and some really encouraging actions such as the work he has done on restoring wildflower meadows. Has he formally stated a position on driven grouse shooting and is there any sign that we can expect a more sympathetic approach to the management of their vast estates when the old guard gives way to the new? Prince Harry aside (although his wife seems perhaps to be a moderating influence), is there hope for the future here?

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    1. Sadly the Royal Family is traditional hunting, fishing, shooting through and through. They have capercaillie at Balmoral, but they weren't prepared to help them by culling enough deer so woodland restoration has had to depend largely on deer fencing which of course tends to be very bad for grouse which fly into them. Traditional deer stalking was not going to be compromised, it was more important than the capercaillie.

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