Muirburn Code updated after review

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THE Muirburn Code has been updated to ensure it gives effective and up-to-date guidance for moorlands managers.

A new Muirburn Code is being implement after a Scottish government review
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A new Muirburn Code is being implement after a Scottish government review

The Scottish government commissioned a review done by Scotland’s Moorland Forum. Forum representatives gathered views from agencies, groups and individuals.

Careful drafting ensured the end product is representative of the many interests involved in and affected by muirburn.

Roseanna Cunningham, environment, climate change and land reform secretary, said: “The revised code will minimise the practice's negative impacts on wildlife, landscapes and ecosystem services, while enhancing the wider socio-economic and environmental benefits well-managed muirburn practices can have.”

Simon Thorp, forum director, said: “The result is an up-to-date code which makes greater reference to cutting, both as an independent operation and in support of muirburn, the integration of muirburn with grazing management and the need to consider the sensitivity of peatland.”

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Scotland says the code makes it clear that muirburn continues to have a role in stimulating new growth of moorland plants such as heather and blaeberry which benefit sheep, deer, grouse and hares.

Dr Adam Smith, director, said: "The code is more policy document than practical guide to doing good things for game and wildlife with muirburn.

"We welcome guidance to protect very deep peat habitats and hydrology but there is a lack of evidence for some assumed negative impacts of fire or positive benefits of not burning and not enough recognition of the positive role of muirburn for biodiversity and reducing the risk of wildfire."

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 12:29PM
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