On Friday the Government announced new plans to bring in a partial ban on burning certain types of peatlands.
Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts says:
“Our peatlands are one of our most valuable wildlife habitats and they’re a critically important carbon store, often referred to as the UK’s rainforests. So, it’s a complete no-brainer that we should stop burning them – but why does the ban only apply to some of our designated peatlands? It should apply to them all.
“If, in some places, the reason they are being burnt is to prevent wild fires spreading over dry ground, the best way to stop fire happening is to block ditches and help the peat become wet again.
“It is deeply frustrating that it has taken so long for the Government to commit to this – a whole 14 months after it was first promised to the House of Commons. It will be extremely embarrassing if we are still burning any of our peatlands when the climate conference meets at the end of the year. The Government’s own advisors say we need to restore all upland peatlands to meet climate targets.
“So while it’s a tiny step forward, much greater urgency is needed across a huge range of comparably burning issues to protect our wildlife and tackle climate change.”