Friday, 21 July 2017

2017 - a good year for Heather Beetle?

We are now in the season for identifying heather beetle outbreaks.  The Priority Issues section of the HT website has information about what to look for.

Early indications are that 2017 may be a bad year for heather damage (or a good year for heather beetle).  In the last week, we have received reports of outbreaks in Caithness, Powys and the north of England.  There are concerns that the outbreaks in the north of England may be especially bad this year.

Please may I ask all owners and managers of moorland to keep look out for heather beetle damage and to complete the survey form if an area of damage is identified?

It would also be helpful, if those who have reported heather beetle damage in the past, could let us know if they are now heather beetle free.

All the information we collect will help us to develop a case to justify funding for more research that is needed to get to the bottom of heather beetle - what causes the population blooms that can be so devastating, and how can we manage moorland to reduce the chances of large scale outbreaks?

Prescribed Burning Canadian Style

We may not have the same scale of problem, but are there lessons we can learn from Canada about the use of fire to prevent large scale wildfires?

"In California, four million hectares burned in 2015, setting records and sparking fire experts to blame overzealous firefighting, arguing the land needs some fire."

"A handful of First Nations groups are working to revive the lost practice of fire-keeping, but it's slow, said Pierre Kruger. We have to re-educate people. None of our families' fires ever got away, but people don't understand fire anymore."