If we are to improve the fate of our heather (Climate emergency to blame for heather crisis – National Trust, September 5), much more needs to be learnt about heather beetle outbreaks, which appear to be increasing in severity.
The general advice is that burning or cutting of affected heather, following an outbreak, will assist restoration of damaged moorland. Evidence suggests that the reason the UK has largely retained its heather moorland is due to the presence of management for driven grouse shooting.
Grouse moor management has, arguably, also improved the resilience of dwarf-shrub heathers in the face of disease and pest species such as heather beetle. The retention of both economic and environmental incentives for moorland management need to be maintained to build resilience and mitigate climate change.
Head of policy at GWCT (Scotland)
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