Last week the Moorland Association released a joke response to the Climate Change Committee report on land use which recommended an end to rotational burning on peatlands this year. Now you wouldn’t think that would be exactly what the Moorland Association would want but they still have the brass neck to write;
The Moorland Association said today that moorland managers are wholly committed to combating climate change…https://www.moorlandassociation.org/2020/01/moorland-association-response-to-committee-for-climate-change-report/
…which sounds quite promising until they finish the sentence;
… and [I think that should be a ‘but’] the government should not rush into an outright ban on controlled heather burning over peatland.https://www.moorlandassociation.org/2020/01/moorland-association-response-to-committee-for-climate-change-report/
Ah, so that’s what the Moorland Association’s idea of wholly committed is? In fact, not really committed at all. I suppose that is a bit like the Moorland Association’s complete commitment to ending illegal killing of raptors except ‘If we let the hen harrier in, we will soon have nothing else.‘.
The ‘wholly committed’ Moorland Association’s Amanda Anderson attempts to correct the Climate Change Committee’s phalanx of professors on the ins and outs of peatland ecology and its impact on climate change (which is very funny). Amanda says it’s all very complicated and we shouldn’t rush into anything, when it’s all very simple and nobody is rushing into anything – in fact the pace of government action is very slow, partly I fear, because of the close relationship between government and the Moorland Association.
Remember, those keenest on driven grouse shooting are rather sceptical about the existence of climate change and whether we can or should do anything about it – click here.
Although acting on burning of peatland is a low-regret approach to tackling greenhouse gas emissions through land use measures we find, as predicted, that the Moorland Association does have regrets.
A quick recap: grouse moors are hotspots of illegal raptor killing; grouse moor burning has damaged protected habitats; grouse moor burning should cease to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For any of these reasons we ought to end intensive grouse moor management – in combination these three reasons (and there are plenty of others too) form a damning indictment of a nineteenth century sport which has no place in our twenty-first century uplands.
The Werritty report was so poor that you wouldn’t have realised that any of this was going on.
DEFRA has been wilfully blind to these issues for so long that it is an absolute disgrace.