Local MP Robert Largan has raised the recent number of fires on moorlands in the Peak District in the House of Commons, calling on the Leader of the House, the Rt Hon Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, to grant a debate in Parliament on the use of disposable barbecues.
The High Peak MP urged the Government:
“Last night, there was yet another fire on the moors of the High Peak, on Tintwistle Low Moor. I pay tribute to Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Peak District Moorland Group and others for their efforts in fighting these fires, but it is very frustrating that they are forced to respond to so many fires usually caused by disposable barbecues. May we have a debate on preventing fires on our moorland and on the future of the laws on disposable barbecues? Can I urge the Government to do more to educate people on the countryside code, so that visitors to the Peak District know how to properly protect and respect our beautiful countryside?”
In response, the Leader of the House highlighted the Government’s new Countryside Code campaign:
“I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his question. Wildfires obviously pose a great risk to our countryside. Natural England has published a refreshed countryside code to advise us all on visits to the countryside. Everyone should enjoy parks and open spaces as we come out of lockdown, and we should be encouraging people to look after our natural environments and the livelihoods of those who work there. The Government are launching a long-term countryside code campaign to increase awareness of the code through 2021 and beyond. I think that is the right approach: to encourage people to behave responsibly, to educate and to tell people about what is expected of them in the countryside. I am afraid to say I am always more cautious about banning things.”
The Government will be announcing measures regarding England's moorlands and peatlands later this year as part of a package of support for England's landscapes and nature-based solutions to climate change.
Robert Largan MP commented:
“It has been really disappointing to see the number of wildfires on the moors increase recently in the High Peak. Our amazing fire and rescue services deserve a huge ‘thank you’ for their hard work in fighting these fires.
“Disposable barbecues must not be used on our moors. It is extremely important that people behave responsibly, and treat the natural landscape with the respect it deserves.
“I will keep this issue on the agenda down in Westminster over the coming weeks.”