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Landowning company fined in ground-breaking case

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Landowning company fined in ground-breaking case


Date of alert:

Friday, 12 May 2023

Crime Ref:


Cheshire Constabulary

A landowning company in Yorkshire has been fined for allowing vegetation to be burnt without a licence in an area of Special Scientific Interest.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that areas of land owned by Dunlin Ltd on Midhope Moors in Upper Midhope, Stocksbridge, near Sheffield, were burned illegally in October 2022.

The Midhope Estate is within a Dark Peak Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI), the South Pennie Moors Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the Peak District Moors Site of Protection Area (SPA).

Peatland areas store vast quantities of carbon and, if they are damaged, emit this carbon into the atmosphere. It also damages the habitat for birds, flora and fauna.

Landowners sometimes burn vegetation on peatland as part of land management and they can apply for a licence that allows them to burn limited areas.

Land agents acting for Dunlin, JM Osbourne Rural and Sporting, applied for a licence to the Peatland Protection Policy Team of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 30 March 2022.

However, it was refused as they hadn’t given enough detail about the amount of land to be burned. Detailed feedback was given to help with any future applications. No further application was made.

Landowning company fined in ground-breaking case

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