Friday, 16 April 2010
Theory:- Create an optimum environment for Red Grouse through systematic muirburn. A regime of burning many small fires on a year to year basis creates a mosaic of heather patches of differing ages thus providing the diversity of habitat favoured by grouse and most other inhabitants of heather moorland.
Practice:- Try and get as many fires as you can in the limited time you've got available. This means going out despite it being rather too damp/dry/windy, attempting to locate an area with appropriately long heather (easy) that will allow you burn safely to a place where it will definitely stop (ie the North Sea)(not easy), saying a prayer, lighting, then chapping like hell for the next 2 hours with a besom made from leftovers from the Forth Rail Bridge.
Actually, today was our last burning day. (Officially, we can continue until the end of the month, provided we burn above 2000ft.) But for the last couple of days conditions have been really dry and windy and we have been skating on thin ice- to coin an inappropriate phrase. And we have other pressing business next week. Tune in for the next thrilling installment......