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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-19952: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 14 November 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it has taken to publicise the latest Muirburn Code to land managers in advance of the current moorland burning season, and what future steps are planned.

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon 27 November 2018

Following the launch of the revised Muirburn Code last year, publicity appeared in the relevant trade press and on social media, and land managers were directly notified by the Scottish Government’s Rural Payments and Inspections Division. The current Muirburn season began on 1 October and ends on 15 April, with an extension period until 30 April. The vast majority of Muirburn takes place in late winter and early spring, and it is considered that publicity about the Code is best focused on this period rather than autumn.

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform announced last year that the Scottish Government would to set up an independently-led group to examine how to ensure grouse moor management is sustainable and compliant with the law. The group, chaired by Professor Alan Werritty, is examining the environmental impact of grouse moor management practices such as Muirburn. The Group will report back to the Cabinet Secretary in Spring 2019, including recommendations on whether further regulation of grouse moors is required.