Government bans peat burning on protected bogs

The burning of vegetation will be banned in sites of ‘special scientific interest’, in ‘conservation’ and ‘special protection’ areas

The government has today announced a ban on peat burning on protected blanket bog sites.

Blanket bog is an area of peatland which is believed to provide multiple environmental benefits, including carbon storage, flood mitigation, wildlife and biodiversity support.

The UK has 13% of the world’s blanket bog, official figures show.

According to the new regulations, the burning of vegetation is prohibited in sites of ‘special scientific interest’, in ‘conservation’ and ‘special protection’ areas.

Under the new rules, those who want to burn peat need to have a licence.

Licenses will only be granted for the burning of heather for the purposes of wildlife prevention, for conservation purposes or for areas where land is inaccessible to cutting and moving machinery.

The restoration of England’s peatlands is part of the country’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Our peatlands have great potential as a natural store of carbon, as well as protecting habitats, providing a haven for rare wildlife and being a natural provider of water regulation.”

Natural England Chair Tony Juniper said: “This is a hugely welcome announcement which will see better protections for our globally important peatlands.”

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