HC Deb 04 April 1944 vol 398 cc1821-2W
Captain Ramsay

asked the right hon. and gallant Member for Rye, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, whether he is aware that on the Shielgreen Estate of the Commissioners, in Peeblesshire, there is a large area of rank unburnt heather extending from their young plantations to the boundaries of neighbouring estates; what precautions are taken to prevent fires coming over from other estates into this combustible material; and whether they will keep this heather down by burning it when conditions are suitable.

Sir G. Courthope

The Commission is aware that there is an area of rank heather above their young plantations at Shielgreen, Peeblesshire. The Commissioners have made at all their forests detailed arrangements with the object of being able to deal promptly and effectively with any outbreak of fire threatening their property. These measures include the provision of patrols, fire fighting equipment, fire traces, and arrangements for obtaining assistance. They are constantly being reviewed, and a few months ago it was arranged to burn a protective belt along the northern boundary of Shielgreen property but so far conditions have not permitted this to be done. I would add that any steps the Commissioners may take to safeguard their own property do not relieve neighbouring proprietors or tenants from their Statutory obligations relating to muir-burning.