Moorland: Conservation

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the recent wildfires, what discussions he has had with representatives of conservation groups on the protection and enhancement of moorlands throughout the UK.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra’s Wildfire Review will ensure our future land management policies protect our moorland and minimise the risks from wildfire. The review has encompassed discussions by Defra officials with stakeholders, both through a workshop held in February, and through continuing discussions with key stakeholders including the Moorland Association and the RSPB.

Restoring peatlands so they are wet, and contain less combustible woody vegetation, is a key component in protecting our moorlands from the risk of wildfire. On 30 April I addressed a reception on ‘Managing the uplands for public benefit’, hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Attendees included representatives from the RSPB, Moors for the Future, and Ulster and Yorkshire Wildlife Trusts. Defra will be publishing the England Peatland Strategy which sets out our approach to long term peatland restoration and protection.

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