Below are the legal requirements for a muirburn:
- By law, burning is only allowed between: 1st October - 15th April: extendable to 30th April by permission of the landowner.
- Notice of your intention to burn in the coming muirburn season must be given in writing to the landowner, and occupiers of land within 1 km of the intended muirburn site, at least 7 days before burning.
- Burning must not start between sunset and sunrise.
- Sufficient people and equipment must be available to control the fire.
- All reasonable precautions must be taken to prevent injury or damage.
- The smoke from the fire must not cause a nuisance.
- If the fire will be within a Site of Special Scientific Interest or other designated site, you must check whether consent for burning is required from Scottish Natural Heritage. Do not burn without such consent.
- An appropriate Health & Safety Risk Assessment must be carried out before burning.
Whilst I was photographing the blaze I noticed someone walking back from Loch Carabhat and Ben na Coille. They didn't look unduly concerned but I wanted to know what they had seen and went to meet the crofter. I asked him if he'd been to the back of the hill and he said not. I mentioned the disastorous hill fire and he said that it was all leggy heather that was neither good for man nor beast. I informed the fella that Golden Eagle (could be on eggs now) and various other birds nest there but he just shrugged it off. He said it was how you managed the moorland. MANAGE! The fire was totally uncontrolled and has ripped through Carinish community woodland. It's amazing that people get away with this flagrant vandalism and disregard for people and wildlife.
Maybe it's time for some tighter controls on muirburn.