Friday, 27 August 2010

Scotland: Wildlife & Natural Environment Bill - Call for Views

The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs and Environment Committee is seeking views on the general principles of the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill. The Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 9 June 2010 and it is expected that the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee will be designated lead Committee for scrutiny of the Bill’s general principles. The Scottish Government has produced a Policy Memorandum and Explanatory Notes, including a Financial Memorandum, to accompany the Bill.

The closing date for written submissions is Wednesday, 1 September 2010.  The Committee prefers to receive written submissions electronically in Word format, and prefers that responses do not exceed 4 A4 pages in length, if possible.  These should be sent to:

From the Trust's perspective, I am principally concerned with the Muirburn provisions.  In general, I am happy with these, as they represent a big step in the right direction.  The price is losing the ability to burn above 450m (1,500ft) to 15 May - I think this is reasonable.  

My one area of concern is the neighbour notification provisions.  We have forsaken the opportunity to apply common sense and introduced a bureaucratic system which once again is likely to be largely ignored.  However, this is not a deal breaker and I hope that the land management community will be able to benefit from the increased flexibility that these changes will introduce.

For those wanting more detail, the Muirburn section in the Explanatory Notes starts at paragraph 145, and the financial section on muirburn at paragraph 252.

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