Pollution concerns over huge pall of smoke blanketing Sheffield

The city centre disappeared in a haze from burning
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Sheffield was blanketed in smoke from deliberate fires on moors close to the city today.

People in areas as far apart as Banner Cross and Darnall reported smelling fumes apparently from heather burning.

Lodge Moor resident Alice Puritz-Evans with the smoke from Redmires behind.Lodge Moor resident Alice Puritz-Evans with the smoke from Redmires behind.
Lodge Moor resident Alice Puritz-Evans with the smoke from Redmires behind.
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A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said the service been notified by the people in charge of three fires, at Redmires, Midhope and Langsett.

Smoke could be seen drifting down the Rivelin Valley and covering the city centre throughout the afternoon.

On social media, Lou tweeted: "The smell in Sheffield today is horrible. Thousands of children and elderly people forced to breathe this in all day long."

Sheffield city centre disappeared into the haze.Sheffield city centre disappeared into the haze.
Sheffield city centre disappeared into the haze.

Justin Seaman added: "Do we really want to have this every year in Sheffield? Large areas being burnt for the sole purpose of those who can afford to shoot."

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Sheffield MP Olivia Blake called for enforcement. She tweeted: "Moorland burning is a dangerous, destructive practice. Every year, 260,000 tonnes of CO2 are released from burning on peat in England. It also has incredibly worrying public health impacts.

"We urgently need to see a ban, our lungs protected and our peatlands restored. I've written to Sheffield City Council and Natural England to see what more enforcement can be undertaken."

Environmental campaigner Bob Berzins wrote: "A lot of anger from Sheffield residents about appalling moorland burning right next to a Wild Sheffield nature reserve. Suburbs of Crosspool, Hillsborough and more full of health damaging smoke."

The fire above Redmires Reservoirs.The fire above Redmires Reservoirs.
The fire above Redmires Reservoirs.

Gregory Norminton responded: "Oliver Coppard (South Yorkshire Mayor). Our health is under attack."

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The Duke of Rutland, who is based in Leicestershire, owns the Moscar shooting estate that includes Hallam Moors above Redmires. His private secretary was contacted for comment.

Amanda Anderson, director of the Moorland Association, said: "Those conducting conservation and wildfire mitigation burning management on our moors do their best to avoid weather conditions that allow smoke to drift over towns and cities whenever possible. It is regrettable that local residents have had concerns on this occasion.

"By undertaking small controlled burns, a variety of habitats is created, which benefits upland species and reduces the severity of wildfire in the spring and summer.

"Peer-reviewed scientific research shows that curlews are four times as likely to breed successfully on a grouse moor, and other species also benefit from patches of shorter vegetation, along with new shoots that are eaten by grouse, sheep and mountain hare.”

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