Conservation at Work

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National Parks agree to explain the role of heather burning to the public

3rd April 2024

If the weather clears for long enough to allow some much-needed conservation work, many estates will be seeking to catch up with their burning in the little time left to do so.

National Parks are sympathetic to the challenges faced by those on the ground and some have undertaken to remind the public that heather burning is an important management tool.

For example the North Yorks Moors Fire Liaison Panel has agreed that if the weather improves so will visitor numbers and with that the number of 999 calls made by the public when they see a managed burn.

To that end it makes sense to check your local fire station has the most up to date contact numbers for staff on the ground. Similarly, sharing information about planned burns (particularly the day before) assists the Fire & Rescue Service deciding how to best respond to a call.

Lastly, Sheffield University have kindly explained how to use a handy online tool for predicting where the smoke from your heather burning is likely to go here. You can click on the location of your proposed burn that morning (or up to three days before) and see which direction smoke is likely to travel in.

Do experiment with this tool and let us know how useful you find it.

Andrew Gilruth

Chief Executive



Did You Know?

75% of Europe’s remaining upland heather moorland is found in the UK – 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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