‘Bit extreme’ to abandon beautiful heather habitat for social justice: Our letter published in the Scotsman

The 1992 Rio Convention on Biodiversity ratified the importance of our heather clad hills, the sort preserved by grouse moors (Here’s why grouse shooting is bad for the Scottish countryside – Robbie Marsland, March 15). They support eighteen species of European or global importance, for example. Robbie Marsland, of the League Against Cruel Sports, and his friends at Revive, may not be fans of grouse shooting but suggesting we should neglect this precious heather habitat, in the name of ‘social justice’, is a bit extreme. In contrast, the RSPB have been clear that the ‘management of land for grouse shooting has protected upland areas from the worst of over-grazing and blanket conifer plantations whilst generating income for upland communities and forming a uniquely British form of cultural land use.’

Andrew Gilruth
Director of communications GWCT

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Heather Management

at 11:12 on 19/03/2019 by Philip Watson

Also, as very recently demonstrated by the wild fires on Saddleworth moor. The choice is have controlled, cool, managed burns in wildlife friendly time frames with little or no short to medium term on peat or carbon storage. This is proven to have fabulous benefits to the environment as a whole especially wildlife. Or uncontrolled, hot burns which do destroy everything and usual occurs at the worst possible time for wildlife (nesting or young unable to escape). This results in long term detrimental impact on peat, carbon storage, wildlife, water quality and cost a small fortune to control to the state and threatens lives, property and jobs. The message is very simple; have managed cool burns with positive environmental benefits or nature will do it for us with devastating, destructive results.

heather moorland

at 9:26 on 18/03/2019 by fergus murray

The myopic view on moorland heather management by Robbie Marsland et al shows an ignorance of what happens to moorland that isn't managed. The heather becomes rank, waist deep and sterile and bracken encroaches the lower ground............I give the example of the Rhynog Mountains in Southern Snowdonia wher movement through the heather is narrow paths with waist high heather and not a whisper of birdlife...

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