The facts, however, are simple: our managed grouse moors represent some of the most important areas for wildlife in Britain. I do not shoot — only rabbits in our vegetable garden — but a properly managed grouse/heather moor creates a mosaic of habitats with young heather, longer heather, patches of upland flora and areas deliberately dampened to create wet flushes for insects.
Fire breaks are created too, which seem to have been missing on the thousands of acres of Saddleworth Moor managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Altogether the RSPB manages about 150,000 acres of moorland and blanket bog, much in partnership with United Utilities, and its methods mean we’re likely to see many more fires this summer.
Note it’s Robin Page, so careful with this news. But still…..