§ Lord Beaumont of Whitley
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they consider that continuation of peat extraction at Thorne and Hatfield Moors for a further 27 years, as allowed under the existing planning consents, will reduce or improve the moors' chances of successful rehabilitation to active raised bog, which is a priority under the European Habitats Directive. [HL1550]29WA
§ Baroness Hayman
Peat extraction at Thorne and Hatfield Moors is taking place under the terms of a legally binding arrangement with English Nature, who acquired the land from the peat operators in 1994. This arrangement ensures that extraction is limited to areas which have been damaged in the past by previous extraction, agricultural drainage, or commercial forestry, and will cease when the minimum level of 0.5 metres of unworked peat is reached. Active secondary bog can be developed on the worked areas provided tthere is sufficient residual peat and this can be saturated with water.
Extraction at Thorne Moors is now very close to the minimum level of 0.5 metres. At Hatfield Moors, even if removal of peat continues under the terms of the planning permission and arrangement referred to above, we envisage that successful rehabilitation to active raised bog could be achieved in the long term.