The 15th April is the last day that controlled heather burning can take place, however many estates have already stopped burning as it is getting very close to nesting time and in some areas nests have already arrived.
The photos are of a Greylag Goose nest, this is situated in a patch of long heather which is used as cover, the burnt areas surrounding it are used for feeding and preening on.
Contrary to many reports seen in the press there are very few moorland keepers who will burn right up until the deadline of the 15th April as they will not put wildlife at any unnecessary risk. However the same luxury cannot be afforded to wildlife when there is an out of control wildfire and this is a point that needs to be understood by everyone when it comes to heather burning.
A controlled burn is exactly that, you can decide when and where, but a wildfire can obliterate landscape and wildlife alike. The summer of 2018 saw several devastating wildfires across the UK with the 2 largest being on Saddleworth Moor in Greater Manchester and Winter Hill in Lancashire where each fire burned out over 7 square miles of moorland. The Saddleworth Fire was described as the largest English wildfire in living memory and was only declared extinguished after a huge 3 weeks, with wildlife experts that visited the site quoted as saying the effects of the fire could last for up to 15 years.
Controlled Burning or Wildfires…………..you decide.
Please help us spread the word in educating about controlled heather burning and why it is a necessary tool in keeping the moorland managed and safe.