Burning of Peat Moorlands - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:35 pm on 14th October 2020.

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Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 12:35 pm, 14th October 2020

My noble friend is right that there is much debate around the issue. That debate has prompted a great deal of research, particularly over the last decade. The Government have kept abreast of all the latest scientific evidence to inform our policy approach. However, overall, the evidence shows that the burning on blanket bog is detrimental as it moves the bog away from its original wet state and risks vulnerable peat bogs being converted to drier heathland habitat. Defra’s view is therefore that ending burning on protected deep peat is the best approach for achieving habitat restoration and maximising the full suite of ecosystem benefits that would arise.