Driven grouse shooting involves draining boggy ground and cutting and burning vegetation to create an artificial habitat. It makes vast areas more susceptible to the wildfires seen during the recent heatwave and increases the real risks of flooding in Sheffield. There are also clear links to the illegal killing of birds of prey which are largely missing from the Peak District.

Ownership exacerbates the problem. Did you know that five moorland owners in the Upper Don Catchment received £3.15 million in Government grants and High Level Stewardship payments over a two-year period for moorland restoration work and environmentally beneficial management practices? And that those same owners over the same time burned large areas of these moors, damaging fragile vegetation. Farcically, Natural England says flood risk is not within its remit while The Environment Agency says land management is not within theirs.

I have written “Report From the Front Line – What’s Happening on the moors near Sheffield” with the support of Sheffield Green Party – you can read it at https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2018/08/09/sheffield-greens-release-report-about-destruction-and-slaughter-on-the-moors/

Sheffield Council must have proper support from statutory bodies to ensure natural flood management measures are urgently put in place across all the moorland surrounding Sheffield. And we need a complete ban on heather burning and driven grouse shooting. The industry has shown itself to be incompatible with management of the moors for public.

Bob Berzins

Report From the Front Line: What’s happening on moors near Sheffield (pdf)

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