As global warming has an increasing impact on weather patterns, the Scottish government is considering allowing dates to be altered for environmental reasons. Muirburn is currently permitted from 1 October to 15 April.

“Without proper management, Scotland’s heather moorlands will degenerate and may even be lost for good. Muirburn is a vital part of the management regime on moorlands and for this reason we would encourage those with an interest to respond to this consultation,” Ross Montague, of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, told Shooting Times.

“The Heather Trust has welcomed the consultation and hopes that a change of legislation will allow greater flexibility in the dates which are currently set out rigidly in primary legislation.

The trust’s director, Simon Thorp, explained: “We feel that the existing season should not be shortened as this could lead to an increase in bad burning practices and a greater number of planned fires getting out of control.”

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