Uplands are a key priority for Defra and Natural England, given their importance for climate change mitigation, biodiversity, drinking water provision, flood risk mitigation, agriculture, recreation and culture. Uplands feature prominently in Defra’s 25 year plan and peatlands (many of which are in the English uplands)
are being targeted for restoration in the Nature for Climate Fund and forthcoming England Peat Strategy (to be delivered by Natural England), as part of the UK’s plans to reach net zero emissions for the land use sector. Linked to this, legislation is now being brought forward to prevent the burning of heather and other vegetation on protected blanket bog habitats. However, little is known about how the cessation of burning (and possible replacement with mechanical cutting) might influence wildfire risk, especially in sites that are not in favourable condition, if these changes in management are not accompanied by restoration measures.
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|Print publication - 4 May 2021