In their latest important report, this one on land use, the Climate Change Committee calls for an immediate banning of burning of upland peatlands.
The report does not say blanket bog, it does not say deep peat, it simply says peatlands – that means all of it, not some of it.
There is much more in here to read but for those of us who have been banging on about ecosystem services in the uplands for years it is great to see such a distinguished group make such a recommendation. Let us hope that governments act quickly.
I note that NFU and CLA were both on the land use panel who advised on this report – not surprisingly, no shooting organisation was involved.
These are UK-wide recommendations so Roseanna Cunningham and the Scottish government should take them on board when considering the feeble Werritty review and take notice of the big guns of the Climate Change Committee.
I did think that the report was quite witty calling banning of upland burning a low-regret measure (page 10) – I can think of a few regretful characters who might be seeking a stiff whisky this evening.
Note that Zac Goldsmith has already signed up to similar measures and so DEFRA ought to be pretty relaxed about getting stuck in here.
The market value of grouse shooting land should just have nose-dived and the days of intensive driven grouse shooting are now much more certainly numbered. And more importantly, the future contribution of our uplands to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is clearly set out. Government must act, and act quickly – get it done!