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 Cameron of Dillington Lord Cameron of Dillington Crossbench 12:35 pm, 14th October 2020

Does the Minister think it wise to allow heather to grow tall and become an unbroken fire hazard in dry summers? Summer hill fires can burn for months and destroy millions of tonnes of our peat. Does he also think it wise to curtail the rotational management of heather, which provides seeds and green shoots for our highly threatened curlews, lapwings, merlin, plover and dunlin et cetera? While burning heather in March, when the peat is sodden from winter rains and therefore completely safe from harm, may not be perfect, would it not be wise to find an alternative form of heather management before doing away with the tried-and-tested system we have?