Meeting on moorland management
Wednesday 27th January 2016
7:30pm Royal Hotel, Market Street, Hayfield
Robert O’Connor, a local Green Party member and ecologist/conservationist, will lead a discussion on the subject of moorland management in the UK.
The blanket bogs and upland heaths of the UK account for something like 1.35 million hectares (lowland peat covered about 65,000 hectares in mainland Britain in 1990, now likely to be much less due to commercial extraction). Changes in land use over human history include; strategic use of uplands for defence and transportation, animal stock grazing and low level agriculture, industrial use including quarrying, hunting and other forms of recreation, and more recently the use of uplands as freshwater catchment areas.
Other issues under consideration for discussion include:
- Land ownership
Who owns what?
Killing of ‘non-preferred’ species on estates managed for game hunting, and how much money is involved in game hunting.
- Effects on biodiversity
Estates managed for hunting tend to have low species diversity – for example moorlands managed for red grouse are mostly dominated by heather, which is the preferred food plant of red grouse.
- Effects on CO² storage
Blanket bogs store significant amounts of CO² in the peat layer, accumulated over thousands of years.
- Effects on flood attenuation
Requires a holistic and landscape approach in implementation of ‘future-proofed’ flood alleviation schemes.
- What is being done now to address habitat degradation?
A quick look at some exemplar conservation projects undertaken by various NGOs, such as the RSPB.
- Appropriate use of public funds in subsidies
Looking at various payment schemes to landowners past and present.
For more information: