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Peat Bogs: Controlled Burning

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL9241, tabled on 15 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of Burning as a tool for the restoration of upland blanket bog: Position Statement by Natural England, published in February 2019, which advises that "in exceptional circumstances it may be appropriate to carry out a one-off burn for the purposes of restoration"; and what steps they intend to take in response to that advice before imposing any blanket ban on such burning.

Answered on

29 October 2020

The Government has always been clear of the need to phase out rotational burning of protected blanket bog to conserve these vulnerable habitats, and we are looking at how legislation could achieve this. Real progress is being made in promoting sustainable alternatives. We have urged landowners to adopt these and continue to work with them constructively.

Any legislative proposals will be developed with consideration of the expert advice of Natural England. These considerations are complex, but it is important that we take the right steps to restore and protect this valuable habitat.