Millionaire kills grouse, worsens flooding with taxpayers’ money

This December 2018 video from Britain is called Bird Photography UK | Red Grouse Revisited.

By Peter Lazenby in England:

Locals stand up to moor burning

Sunday 09 December 2012

Campaigners fighting to protect a Yorkshire moor said on Friday that they are taking their case to the European Commission.

The Ban the Burn campaign says public subsidies are being paid to the owner of moorland who burns the land to cater for grouse breeding and shooting.

The campaigners say burning of “blanket bog” and sphagnum moss to cater for grouse worsens the flooding problems faced in the Yorkshire Pennines, in addition to destroying wildlife habitats which are supposed to be protected.

The campaign is based in West Yorkshire‘s Hebden Bridge, just south of privately owned Walshaw Moor.

Government-backed Natural England has entered a “Higher Level Stewardship” agreement with the moor’s owner involving subsidies of £2.5 million. Meanwhile the owner is allowed to continue burning the moor.

The campaigners are challenging the legality of the agreement on the basis that European funding for nature protection should not be used to subsidise activities likely to degrade a legally protected habitat.

Hebden Bridge resident Dongria Kondh said: “It can’t be right for a millionaire grouse-moor owner to be receiving nearly £1,000 of public money every working day for the next 10 years without any detectable public benefit.”

The town was hit by severe flooding this June and July.

“In order to minimise our flood risk we need the upland catchment to be managed so that large areas of degraded blanket bog are restored to a healthy state, with a good cover of sphagnum moss to act as a buffer slowing the run-off during heavy rainfall events,” Ms Kondh said.

“By allowing continued burning Natural England have let us down very badly.”

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