Heather Burning: Environment Protection

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 8th March 2021.

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Photo of Olivia Blake Olivia Blake Labour, Sheffield, Hallam

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many permissions Natural England have granted for heather burning in environmentally protected areas in each of the last five years, by region.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Figures for the number of permissions granted are not available because of the different ways that consents may be granted. Natural England may permit burning of vegetation in response to Notices of proposal to carry out the activity on Sites of Special Scientific Interest made by land managers under s28e of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Natural England may also have issued consent for burning vegetation as part of the prescriptions of an agreement made under the Environmental Stewardship or Countryside Stewardship schemes administered by the Rural Payments Agency. Consents may not provide detail of the vegetation to be burned and permissions attached to agreements may not detail the individual elements of management. To collect this information Natural England would need to investigate each relevant case where burning has been or may have been permitted to determine whether it allows burning of heather.

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