Scene 3 Hebden Bridge

From Saltaire to Hebden Bridge, where ther have been three serious floods recently.

Hebden Bridge was subjected to two serious floods in the summer of 2012. And then again in 2015 Part of this may be due to the reduced capacity of their moors to absorb water. Blanket bog absorbs water. EMBER Report into the effects of burning on water courses, suggest using mayflies as indicators of health - there are twice as many in waters that have not been burned. 

The government organisation 'Natural England' in Vital Uplands thinks so. (Check out what the 'vital' uplands look like now and may look like in 2060. The vision seems to ignore the fact that all this land is owned by somebody, and it is they who will dictate what happens to it.)
Many moor owners, similar to those for Walshaw Moor Estate, above Hebden Bridge, like to burn the heather in order to encourage grouse. Mr Bannister, the owner (& owner of famous Boundary Mill store in Colne - hence Bannie's Fish n Chips)) when challenging Natural England, said that if he couldn't burn the blanket bog, its grouse moor would go out of business, and the upland economy would 'fall apart'. In the last 10 years the number of grouse on that moor has increased from 100 brace to over 3000. More 
Burnt heather - allows growth of  tender young plants for young grouse to feed on. 
The Moorland Association, of which Environment Secretary under Minister of State Richard Benyon is one, lobby hard to block any bans on burning. The Moorland Association claim that burning heather lowers the carbon footprint - presumably because all the carbon goes up into the atmosphere!

ch regarding Walshaw Moor Estate. More

"The Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB), along with Ban the Burn, lodged a complaint about the practice with the European Commission (EC), despite Natural England giving the owner consent to burn. This and other moors are supposed to be protected as ‘natural sites’ of special scientific interest and conservation, and if they were properly managed would reduce flood risk. In April 2016 the European Commission took the first steps in legal infraction against the UK government in relation to the burning of blanket bog in Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) in all of northern England, saying our government had not carried out a risk assessment as required by the Habitats Directive.13. In April 2017, the EC sent a final warning, to which the government was supposed to respond within two months.This is the stage referred to as ‘reasoned opinion’ and requires a response before the case is bought before the Court of Justice of the EU"
This is an extract from my book Bittersweet Brexit published by Pluto Press in October 2017 

2) Which is greener? Wind Farms
and cows
 
 versus  Willow grown for biomass fuel?

Has anybody done environmental impacts assessments to determine which is best for renewable energy and the environment - wind farms or willow growing?  We know which causes least complaint. A start..
3 Vegetable growing on high.

Our intrepid explorer admiring growth way above Hebden Bridge


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