How many more wildfires does it need before people recognise necessity of controlled burning?

Another huge wildfire has broken out on Dartmoor in Devon which has illuminated the sky for miles and caused widespread destruction.

As well as destroying wildlife living on the moor, the wildfire will have likely sent hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere, negating much of the national effort to reduce carbon emissions.

It is still unknown exactly how much carbon will have been released into the atmosphere from this wildfire however previous wildfires have released over one million tonnes. By contrast, all upland controlled cool burning combined is estimated to release around 300,000 tonnes.

In 2019 the UK's total carbon emissions were 352 million tonnes.

Therefore controlled burning by managed moorland equates to about 0.15% of total annual carbon emissions.

Yet despite this, the RSPB have spent much of the last year campaigning to have controlled burning banned as a tool for moorland managers.

Given this latest wildfire is happening right on the doorstep of the multi-millionaire chairman of the RSPB, Kevin Cox, we wonder if maybe, just maybe, they might now realise that their high-profile emotive campaign last year, Ban the Burn, was misjudged, particularly given the lasting damage it has caused to their relationship with moorland communities.

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