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Beccy's ban on controlled burning would be 'utterly demonic' and risk thousands of lives

Tomorrow the RSPB are set to continue their two-pronged attack on grouse shooting and the moorland communities that rely upon the £67 million pounds a year it directly brings isolated moorland regions, not to mention the £2 billion pounds that is indirectly reinvested in the UK economy.

The RSPB are to tell us that birds of prey are being persecuted and that the world will end unless we ban controlled burning on our moorland.

The new direction taken by the RSPB, under the leadership of Beccy Speight, seems focused entirely on cherry picking selective facts to use against the industry whilst ignoring others that must be considered inconvenient to their cause.

[RSPB's CEO, Beccy Speight, who wants to see controlled burning banned]

We thought it would be helpful to provide some clarity to the accusations made by the RSPB.

Firstly, with regards to controlled burning of heather on moorland:

1) Scientific research shows that blanket bog is capable of increased levels of carbon storage when rotational burning is part of its management.

2) Controlled heather burning significantly reduces the risk of wildfire.

3) The most terrible wildfires experienced in the UK in recent years, such as Saddleworth, have taken place on RSPB managed land where controlled burning is not practiced.

4) Wildfires cause destruction and carbon release on an unimaginable scale.

5) The RSPB have sought to twist the advice of the Committee on Climate Change who recognise that controlled burning plays a vital role in preventing wildfires.

6) The ban on controlled burning in parts of the US and Australia has directly led to the dramatic increase in wildfires and is now a source of 'deep regret'.

7) Firefighters across the world recommend controlled burning as a vital tool to prevent wildfires.

The RSPB and others, like Luke Steele’s Moorland Monitors, are calling for a ban on controlled heather simply because they don’t like people shooting (and eating) grouse. They have also rounded up a collection of local Labour mayors and councillors who should really know better, but can't resist the opportunity for political point scoring.

Their efforts to have controlled burning banned are literally putting the lives of whole communities at risk and threatening to send thousands of tonnes of carbon into the air every year.

The fact that they realise this too yet have not once acknowledged it makes their agenda even more demonic.

[Australia experienced the worst wildfires in memory this year]

Secondly, on birds of prey, no one is doubting that some birds of prey have been persecuted in the UK. The RSPB alleged 44 since 2018, none of which have been proven.

What Beccy’s RSPB will not be telling you however is the following facts:

4) The Hen Harrier nests that failed this year were almost entirely the ones on RSPB managed land.

5) Of all the incidents of persecution against birds of prey reported by the RSPB, less than half of these took place in counties where grouse shooting occurs.

6) The number of birds of prey alleged to have been persecuted by the RSPB continues to fall from the previous year.

7) Indeed, the Peak District Bird of Prey Initiative showed a marked increase in birds of prey numbers.

Beccy’s RSPB is seemingly trying to divert attention from their own conservation failings and financial wastage, such as at Lake Vyrnwy.

It is clear that the only thing being persecuted are our moorland communities.


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