Residents of Hebden Bridge, devastated by moorland run-off in this summer’s floods, join environmental campaigners in the first ever attempt by residents to Ban Bog-Burning on some Red Grouse moors.
Here’s another side of the grouse moor issue, which was the subject of today’s first Guardian Northerner post: environmental campaigners are holding a protest walk this Sunday, 12 August, before launching a national discussion on the management of blanket bogs.
The issue comes close to home for many of those who will take part in the event at Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, a town which has made regular national headlines this summer because of its devastation by floods. Damage and bog treatment are linked because of the effects of drainage and moorland ‘tidying’ including burning; some of the worst effects of the second flood were caused by run-off sweeping down from the surrounding hills.
Dongria Kondh, one of the walkers, says:
Here in Hebden Bridge we know the real hardship of flooding – shops and businesses in our town are still shut, and many of our friends and neighbours have suffered irreplaceable loss. In order to reduce our town’s vulnerability to flooding, we need the upland catchment to be managed to promote healthy blanket bog, with sphagnum moss to act as a sponge in heavy rainfall events.
It seems grotesque that the taxpayer is paying for the exact opposite – £2.5 million is about five times as much as is in the Calder Valley flood recovery fund. If Walshaw Moor wants public subsidies, it must use them for the public good and completely restore the blanket bogs on its estate.
Request from the campaign organisers- Will those people with video cameras please bring them along to record the days events. Any images obtained by the public can then be donated to form a part of a complete story of the days event.