Dear Natural England and Secretary of State for Defra,
Please ban heather burning and drainage ditches on blanket bogs, and stop loopholes in the Heather and Grass Burning Code, and other relevant regulations and laws, that can be used to create exemptions to the ban on burning and draining blanket bogs.
Why is this important?
Blanket bogs are a rare and important habitat, often in Sites of Special Scientific Interest. They are important for biodiversity, supporting a wide range of species; for hydrology and "soft" flood control; and as a natural carbon sink. Scientific research shows that draining and burning them seriously reduces biodiversity; is likely to increase runoff and flash flooding in rivers that they drain into during heavy rainfall; and by increasing the amount of humic dissolved organic carbon flowing from the peat into rivers, turns natural carbon sinks into carbon sources.
How it will be delivered
Posting to Defra Under Secretary of State, George Eustice MP and to Andrew Wood, Natural England Director of Evidence and Policy.