BASC or the Climate Change Committee – who would you believe?
Wild Justice issued papers last week challenging DEFRA’s feeble new Burning Regulations.
Predictably, BASC, a pro-shooting organisation which is always jumping up and down shouting about something or other, is desperate to get involved too. BASC is hoping to be recognised by the court as an interested party in the case. We’ll see. Will we see a range of other shooting organisations jostling for some publicity too?
BASC’s intervention in Wild Justice’s challenge of the Welsh general licences was very helpful to our case and resulted in Justice Jarman contrasting the agreement on the legal position between Wild Justice and Natural Resources Wales with the different position of BASC. BASC couldn’t have beeen more helpful in getting that judgment and the precedent it sets in law, had they been trying. We’re not sure that BASC, and their members, actually realise that yet…
Our challenge of DEFRA’s burning regulations is based on their inability to deal well enough with the damage caused by vegetation burning on upland peatlands, largely on grouse moors, to protected blanket bog habitat and to greenhouse gas emissions. The regulations are very badly framed.
Wild Justice says:
There’s a climate crisis and a biodiversity crisis, and this type of burning adds to both. Instead of acting decisively, DEFRA is fiddling while the uplands burn.
… and DEFRA says…
There is a consensus that burning of vegetation on blanket bog is damaging to peatland formation and habitat condition. It makes it more difficult or impossible to restore these habitats to their natural state and to restore their hydrology.
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.https://www.gov.uk/government/news/englands-national-rainforests-to-be-protected-by-new-rules
…although their action to back that up is inadequate. However, BASC quips;
As a conservation organisation we believe Wild Justice’s challenge will directly impact on the sustainable management of land in the uplands.https://basc.org.uk/basc-to-challenge-wild-justice-action-2/
That’s very witty! BASC’s a conservation organisation, is it? And yes, we hope that our legal challenge will affect the sustainable management of the uplands, that’s why we are taking it with great support from real conservation organisations. BASC, not really being an environmental organisation, may have missed the report to Parliament of the Climate Change Committee which recently said;
Introduce legislation to … [e]xtend the ban on rotational burning of peathttps://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Progress-in-reducing-emissions-2021-Report-to-Parliament.pdf
from certain protected upland bog sites to all peatland before the start of
the burn season in 2021.
That’s pretty clear isn’t it? And urgent, too!
BASC, and maybe the rest of the shooting industry, are way out on a limb with this. The narrow interests of shooting are distanced from DEFRA, and DEFRA is lagging behind what the environment and conservation movement believes is needed. Wild Justice is happy to be walking in step with the Committee on Climate Change on this issue. Compare the credentials of the Climate Change Committee with those of BASC – well, who would you believe?
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