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Mayors, councils, local communities, and RSPB unite in support of the call to urgently ban peatland burning on grouse moors - RSPB

The RSPB is today calling on Government to implement an immediate end to the burning of precious peatlands on moors managed for grouse shooting. The call, which comes on the first day of this year's burning season, is being supported by city mayors, councils, and local communities. A ban is also supported by a wide range of environmental NGOs.

Beccy Speight, RSPB Chief Executive Officer, said: “In a climate and ecological emergency, the continued burning of precious peatlands is simply not acceptable and undermines the UK Government’s legal obligations to restore nature. The Government has long promised to end the burning of peat, it has widespread public support, and the Secretary of State, George Eustice, now needs to make good on this pledge.”

Healthy wet blanket peat bogs are home to peat-forming sphagnum mosses, cotton-grasses, and carnivorous plants, which support a diverse range of breeding birds, including breeding dunlin and golden plover. They are also a crucial carbon store. UK peatlands (in the uplands and lowlands) store an estimated 3,200 million tonnes (Mt) of carbon.

However, the RSPB says that one of the most significant pressures on these places is that they are routinely and deliberately burned, largely to support a single industry – grouse shooting.

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