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Stackyard News Aug 07
       

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Heather and Grass Burning Regulations and Code Revised
02/08/07

A new Code has been published today (Thursday 2 August) to help farmers and landowners that use burning as a land management technique to do so safely, responsibly and to protect the environment.

moorland

New Regulations that cut red tape and introduce new protection for carbon-rich soils were also announced. Natural England will be responsible for encouraging good burning practice in line with the Code and for administering the new Regulations once they come into force on 1 October 2007.

Sir Martin Doughty, Chair Natural England, said: "Burning is a traditional practice used by many landowners and, if done sensitively, can play an important part in sustainably managing some of our most valuable habitats and helping to tackle climate change."

Natural England has worked with people from over 14 organisations representing landowners and farmers and voluntary bodies to create expert up-to-date advice on how to carry out burning in ways which benefit wildlife, and protect carbon rich soils. It could help reverse the decline of Biodiversity Action Plan species and habitats such as blanket bog. It will also help achieve favourable condition on Sites of Special Scientific Interest, particularly in upland England where over 65,000 hectares of moorland are in unfavourable condition due to burning. Protecting soils rich in carbon, such as upland peat, prevents release of carbon dioxide, helping to address climate change, and reduces the scarring of the landscape.

The code sets a new industry standard for burning. Breaches of the Regulations could attract fines of up to £1,000 and future burning may be more restricted.

link Environment Agency Should Rethink Priorities Over Flooding
link Farmers' Food for Thought at Energy Event
link Boom in Woodlarks Prompts Return to Farmland
link A Green Revolution Has Begun

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