Farmers are being reminded to follow the Heather and Grass Burning Code to avoid damage to the environment, hefty fines and cross compliance penalties.
The burning of heather,
rough grass, bracken, gorse
and Vaccinium (bilberry) is
only allowed between
October 1 – march 31 in
upland areas (land in the
severely Disadvantaged area of the Less Favoured area) and November 1 – march 15 elsewhere. It is possible to carry out controlled burns at other times but only under a licence that may be obtained in very specific circumstances.
FUW Vice President Ian rickman said: “It is really important that farmers remember that if they don’t comply with the Burning regulations, they are breaking the law and may face a fine up to £1,000. They could also be looking at penalties under cross compliance rules.”
The Heather and Grass Burning Code asks farmers to prepare thoroughly before any burning is undertaken as well as plan and consult well in advance of the burning season.
Those planning a controlled burn need to contact the local Fire and rescue service, consult and co-operate with neighbours, especially woodland owners, to establish or confirm a burning programme for the year and those on common land are advised to consult fellow Commoners and the local Commoners’ association if there is one. The success of a burn and to achieve the best results possible are dependent on good preparation and communication.
“On the morning of the day of burning, telephone your local fire and rescue service and provide details of the location (including Ordnance survey map grid reference) and extent of intended burning. at the end of the day let them know when all fires have been extinguished. Farmers are also advised not to burn if the weather is unsuitable for safe and controlled burning. You need to make sure you have an emergency plan and have back-up help available if you are carrying out a controlled burn and that you are contactable by radio or mobile phone on the day when burning is to be carried out,” added Ian rickman.
Further information and guidance can gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2018-01/heather-and-grass-burning- code.pdf