From: Amanda Anderson, Director, Moorland Association.
I WAS encouraged to read of your recognition that farmers and land managers in Yorkshire are environmentalists (The Yorkshire Post, January 8).
I have yet to meet a single landowner, farmer or gamekeeper who does not care about the long-term health of their environment – after all, their livelihoods depend on it.
You also rightly warned of the danger of misinformed opinion. Misinformation spread by single-agenda activists who do not understand how our moorlands work is becoming a blight on our complex natural world.
You only need look at Australia to see the consequence of misguided single-agenda policies. Many indigenous people have criticised government curbing of managed burning to reduce emissions, polices which have failed to prevent or limit the devastation by current wildfires and have increased emissions dramatically.
When Caithness’s Flow Country caught fire it was estimated it doubled Scotland’s carbon emissions for the six days it burned. The fire brigade subsequently cited the lack of precautions in allowing moors to become overgrown.
In England, Saddleworth and Marsden moors have recently suffered wildfires despite peatland restoration projects to re-wet them, coupled with no-burn policies.
Combatting climate change is slow and complex but those that see ceasing managed burning as a quick fix to reduce emissions risk making things far worse.