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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Burning on protected peatlands

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Natural England, Weekly stories

There has been media coverage by the BBC, The Times, Daily Mail, The Telegraph & Yorkshire Post of allegations by RSPB and Greenpeace that burning has taken place on protected deep peatlands in contravention of Defra regulations.

Restoring England’s peatlands is a priority for the government. It will help achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as well as protecting our valuable habitats, and the biodiversity those habitats support.

A Defra spokesperson said:

We are investigating potential breaches of the heather and peat burning regulations and cannot comment further while investigations are ongoing.

“The Government and Natural England continue to work with landowners to promote sustainable upland management practices, backed up by a record funding to protect and restore England’s iconic peat landscapes.

If you believe an illegal burn has taken place you can report it directly to Natural England’s Enforcement Team by calling 0300 060 3900 or email

Natural England will assess the report against records of protected sites and environmental data and carry out site visits as required.

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  1. Comment by John w baxter posted on

    May as well dig it up and keep someone warm if incapable of protecting peat from the archaic practise of burning. Get resourceful and progressive and find a use for old heather

  2. Comment by Jonathan Payne posted on

    Really @Defra. Plain to see your alliances. Im sure we will see an email pop up in time saying that no wrong doings were found and the aforementioned groups slinging mud here are de-trounced for lies and misleading the pubic. But I doubt very much that`s in your agenda here is it?

    Did you investigate the Saddlemoor fires, the mis management by the RSPB in their "re-wilding" was pure criminal and injustice to the wildlife they proclaim to protect. But im sure we know the answer to that one.