Wednesday, August 21, 2019
The skye times mobile

Landowners in Skye and Lochalsh are reminded of their rights and responsibilities during muirburn season.

Last year emergency services on Skye attended several out of control muirburns, some of which caused considerable damage to land and forestry and requiring considerable resources from the Skye and further afield to bring fires under control.

In one case more than 30 sq km of commercial forestry was damaged.

Muirburn season runs from October 1 until April 15 inclusive in Scotland.

Advice has been issued to landowners, and includes making a burning plan before setting out.

• Identify where, when and how you want to burn
• Areas you need to avoid
• What equipment and help you will need
• How to minimise the risks of the fire getting out of control and damaging property or injuring anyone.
• Consider the weather is it too dry? Too windy?
• Consider your statutory responsibilities.

Constable Chris Tait, of the local policing team on Skye, stated: “We are all hoping to reach out to local community crofters and landowners to promote good practice and adherence to the muirburn code.

"Careful planning and responsible burning protect the community and other areas from unnecessary damage, but also the land for future generations of crofters.

"If the code is ignored then the consequences could be severe for the local economy as well as wildlife and property. Police Scotland will robustly investigate any offences that become apparent”.

Dr Alison MacLennan, conservation officer for RSPB said: ”Each year countless nests with eggs or chicks and even incubating adult birds are destroyed by fire or smoke inhalation from irresponsible muirburn.

"The RSPB strongly urges crofters and land managers who are undertaking muirburn to do so as early as possible in the year and before April 15 in compliance with the new Muirburn Code. Much of the damage to wildlife could be averted if the ground to be burnt was walked over before the fire was lit to ensure there were no ground nesting birds present.

"In addition, if burns were carried out in small patches in a controlled manner and if all fires were attended until fully extinguished this would greatly reduce the risk to wildlife


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