Heather and Grass etc. (Burning) Regulations (as amended)

Applies to EnglandApplies to Wales

Title: Heather and Grass etc. (Burning) Regulations (as amended)

Category: England and Wales Regulations

Date: 1986 ( amended 1987)

Reference: 1986/428 [Full text not available] (1987/1208 [Full text])

General Description:

In England, these regulations have been revoked by the Heather and Grass etc. Burning (England) Regulations 2007.

The burning, not only of heather and grass, but also gorse, bracken and bilberry, is controlled by these 1986 regulations

  • Burning is only allowed between: 1 October - 15 April in upland areas.  The National Park Authority recommends no burning after 31 March to prevent harm to nesting birds.
  • Outside these dates burning is allowed only under licence issued by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
  • Permission of the owner must be gained.
  • At least 24 hours but no more than 7 days notice of intent to burn must be given in writing to the owners and occupiers of the land concerned and persons in charge of adjacent land.
  • You must not start burning heather, grass, gorse, bracken or bilberry between sunset and sunrise.
  • You must ensure that sufficient people and equipment are on hand to control the burn.
  • You must take all reasonable precautions to prevent injury or damage.
  • You must not cause a nuisance through the creation of smoke.  This is an offence under the Clean Air Act 1956.
  • You must contact English Nature if burning on a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
  • Under the Dartmoor Commoners' Council's Regulations, arising from the Dartmoor Commons Act 1985, no person or local Commoners' Association shall burn moorland where heather is present on the commons exceeding an area of 9000 square metre at intervals of less than 12 years, nor where the distance between burns in any one year is less than 150 metres.  No Person or local Commoners' Association shall burn moorland where dead grass, bracken or gorse is present on any common land unit exceeding 50 acres (20 hectares) or 25% of the area of that common land unit which ever shall be the less and such burning shall take place at intervals of no less than 3 years.

The 1987  Regulations amend the the principal Regulations 1986  suvh that they extend from 72 hours to 7 days the maximum period for giving written notice of intention to burn heather, grass etc. to all persons with an interest in the land on which the burning is to take place and persons in charge of adjacent land.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Grassland, Heather, Uplands, Land Burning

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