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EFRA Committee report on flood risk management

2nd November 2016

The Moorland Association welcomes today’s (2 November) report from the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on future flood prevention.  The report is striking in two different ways.  First, despite the claims made by opponents of driven grouse shooting that grouse moors are responsible for increased flood risk, there is no mention at all of grouse moors in the report.

 

Secondly, the report refers favourably to the Moors for the Future project in the Pennines which, it notes, “is improving the moorland by, for example, restoring peat areas so that they can absorb more rainfall and reduce run-off”.

 

Director of the Moorland Association Amanda Anderson said: “The Moors for the Future project, in which local moorland custodians are involved, is the right way forward for moorland regeneration, and we are pleased that the hard work of this successful partnership has been recognised by the Committee. Our members have also been closely involved with a number of similar peat partnerships across the North of England , and Natural England have released figures that show a minimum 18,000 hectares of peatland restoration already underway, with more to come. The Committee recommends further work on river catchment scale management, which we very much support.

 

“But the dog that hasn’t barked in this report is the claim that managing moorland for driven grouse shooting causes flooding. As even Dr Mark Avery, co-creator of a recent e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting, has recently admitted to a Commons committee hearing that ‘I do not think there are any cases where anybody has been able to look at an individual grouse moor and link it to a flood event’. We hope that this argument can now be consigned to history.”

 

Link to the report here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvfru/115/115.pdf.

 

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Did You Know?

75% of of the world’s remaining heather moorland is found in Britain – but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century. The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to coordinate the efforts of moorland owners and managers to halt this loss, particularly in England and Wales.

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