Some of you may be aware of burning on the area between Silent Valley Reservoir and Ben Crom Reservoir over the last few weeks. This has been to build control lines to manage a prescribed burn that MHT and NI Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) are carrying out as a pilot to inform the development of a fuel (vegetation) reduction programme at critical locations to prevent the spread of landscape wildfires. This follows recommendations in the Eastern Mournes Wildfire Report 2012 commissioned by NI Environment Agency, NIFRS and NI water.
This initial work will cover 5ha and will have to be carried out by 14 April 2015. NIEA consent for burning in an ASSI/SAC has been obtained, and NI Water are monitoring the impact on water quality etc. Recovery of the site will be key, aiming to improve the habitat if possible, and managed grazing will be the main tool. This may require some extra fencing, which should be short term and we hope will not deter from the open country aesthetic & access.
I’ll put more out about this ASAP, but please contact me if you want to find out more.
Also, I’m mindful that we need to have a MORF meeting meet soon, so am planning for mid-late April and will be in touch ASAP.
Last point – remember if you are planning or are aware of an event on the open mountain, please get the Event Scoping forms in to us.