RSPB lodges complaint over moor dispute

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The RSPB has submitted a formal complaint to the 
European Commission over the handling of a protected area near Hebden Bridge.

Following six months of investigations, the charity believes that Natural 
England has failed to protect the habitat on the Walshaw Moor Estate from extensive drainage and aggressive 
burning.

Home to an area of 
blanket bog, a threatened 
habitat of delicate mosses, which supports birds such as dunlin and golden plover.

Mike Clarke, RSPB chief executive, said: “Natural England has an excellent record but at Walshaw it has not 
fulfilled its duty to protect wildlife.”

Residents in Hebden Bridge have also thrown their weight behind the RSPB’s 
actions.

Dongria Kondh from the Ban the Burn campaign group, said: “Hebden Bridge was very badly hit by flooding in June and July this year, and in 
order to minimise the town’s flood risk we need the upland catchment above the town to be managed so that large areas of degraded blanket bog are restored to a healthy state.”