New Legislation to Protect England’s Blanket Bogs

The government has announced plans to bring forward legislation to prevent the burning of heather and other vegetation on protected blanket bog habitats in England.

The regulations will prevent the burning of any specified vegetation on areas of deep peat on a Site of Special Scientific Interest that is also a Special Area of Conservation or a Special Protection Area unless a licence has been granted.

The ban will not apply under specific circumstances, such as, to prevent wildfire spread where there is no practicable alternative, on steep land or where scree makes up half the land area.

It is recognised that the burning of vegetation on blanket bog, such as heather, damages peatland formation and habitat condition.

The statutory instrument will be laid before Parliament for its approval before it comes into force.