The UK’s largest shooting organisation has welcomed the decision by the Scottish Government to relax a temporary muirburn ban which was imposed in April as part of emergency coronavirus legislation.   

The Scottish Government’s decision means that muirburn can take place in Scotland from the 1st October until the 15th April (the prescribed burning season), although Scottish Government Ministers will reserve the right to suspend burning should Scotland revert to a full-scale national lockdown posture again.

The controversial amendment to impose a ban for the last few weeks of the burning season was brought forward by Scottish Green Party MSP, Andy Wightman. BASC branded the move ‘completely unnecessary’ at the time, owing to the fact that a voluntary burning cessation was already in place.

BASC Scotland Director, Dr Colin Shedden, said: “We welcome this sensible and proportionate decision by the Scottish Government. Muirburn is an important land management tool which has wide-ranging benefits for biodiversity. It also plays a key role in breaking up fuel loads and preventing the risk of wildfire.

“Those land managers seeking to undertake muirburn from the 1st October should do so in conjunction with the muirburn code. BASC will endeavour to advise members and stakeholders appropriately should the situation change as the country continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.”  

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