Why do farmers burn heather?

Why do farmers burn heather?

Dr Andreas Heinemeyer from the University’s Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) explained: “Heather burning is a common practice on upland heather moorland throughout the UK. The main aim of burning is to encourage the heather to produce new green shoots to feed red grouse and livestock.

How much of the UK is grouse moor?

The Moorland Association’s map data suggests that English grouse moors cover 1.3million acres, or almost 4% of England (which is 32million acres in total).

Who owns the moors in England?

Covering an area of 554 sq mi (1,430 km2), the National Park has a population of 23,380. It is administered by the North York Moors National Park Authority, whose head office is based in Helmsley….

North York Moors
Established 1952
Governing body North York Moors National Park Authority
Website www.northyorkmoors.org.uk

Who owns grouse moors?

The largest of grouse moors, at some 30,000 acres, is the Raby Estate owned by Henry Vane, 12th Baron Barnard. Others, such as Gunnerside or East Allenheads and Muggleswick, are 26,000 acres.

Why is grouse shooting good?

This greater investment in management has benefits for other moorland wildlife, such as species of ground-nesting birds, and for habitats and the environment. A driven grouse shoot can make this additional investment because the economic returns for driven shooting are much greater than for walked-up shooting.

What is heather moorland?

Heather moorland refers to areas that are dominated by heather, a vegetation community described in Thompson’s paper as being “found throughout the UK and Irish uplands, mainly above the upper reaches of enclosed farmland, in the extreme western and southern parts of Norway and in limited areas elsewhere”.

Is moorland burning legal?

The controversial practice of setting heather-covered moorland on fire – often carried out by gamekeepers to create more attractive habitats for grouse – is now banned on more than 30 major tracts of land in northern England.

How many grouse moors are there in the UK?

Each year, owners and sporting tenants of our 190 member grouse moors in England and Wales spend a combined total of £52.5 million on land management, 90 percent of which is privately invested. The majority of this outlay benefits some of the most rural communities in our uplands.

Who owns North York Moors?

The National Park Authority owns less than 1% of the North York Moors with some 80% in private ownership; owned in the main by private estates and farmers who manage the land to support grouse shooting and sheep farming.

How much upland heather moorland in the UK?

Thompson’s paper contains a map of Europe, with upland heather moorland indicated, based on three scientific sources, his own calculations and collaboration with other scientists. Although the resulting map (right) is rough, a visual assessment does support that three quarters of upland heather moorland in the area the map covers is in the UK.

Is 75% of the world’s Heather moorland in the UK?

The view that the UK contains 75% of the world’s heather moorland has been widely accepted, being found uncited in a range of articles, for example the Ecologist, the RSPB website, and the Climate News Network, as well as in books. The basis of this estimate has been queried recently and we discuss it here.

What is heather-dominated moorland?

Heather-dominated moorland is a much more specific definition 1 – common heather (the scientific name is Calluna vulgaris ) is found naturally only in northern Europe, and upland heather moorland restricts the definition further, by discounting lowland ecosystems.

Where is the largest moorland in England and Wales?

Around 70 percent of the world’s heather moorland is in the UK and one of the largest continuous expanses of moorland in England and Wales is here in the North York Moors – a sheep could wander from Egton to Bilsdale without leaving it. Moorland covers a third of the North York Moors National Park and most of the higher ground is covered in…