Moorland burning: South Yorkshire mayor seeks meeting with duke over fumes that sparked fury in Sheffield

The smoke event was condemned by thousands of people
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The mayor of South Yorkshire has asked the Duke of Rutland to meet him amid fury over moorland burning that blanketed Sheffield in smoke.

Oliver Coppard says he wants to discuss "what could be done to prevent this situation ever recurring".

Oliver Coppard is the Labour Mayor of South Yorkshire. PIC: Gerard BinksOliver Coppard is the Labour Mayor of South Yorkshire. PIC: Gerard Binks
Oliver Coppard is the Labour Mayor of South Yorkshire. PIC: Gerard Binks
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The unprecedented step comes after deliberate fires on grouse moors above Redmires reservoirs saw smoke covering swathes of the city. It sparked thousands of complaints over the smell, health impacts, pollution, climate change, harm to wildlife and increased flood risk.

The duke owns 6,000-acre Moscar shooting estate and 10-bedroom Moscar Lodge - advertised as 'every countryman’s paradise' - on the A57 at Hollow Meadows near Strines. 

Lodge Moor resident Alice Puritz-Evans with the smoke from Redmires on October 9.Lodge Moor resident Alice Puritz-Evans with the smoke from Redmires on October 9.
Lodge Moor resident Alice Puritz-Evans with the smoke from Redmires on October 9.

Mayor Oliver Coppard, said: "We have mounting evidence on the potential health and environmental impacts of heather burning in the Peak District. Controlled burns, like the ones carried out last month, need to take our local community’s needs and concerns into account.

"While Natural England undertake an enforcement review into the specifics of the fires of October 9, I have invited the Duke of Rutland to meet with me and other community and political leaders. I want us to discuss what could be done to prevent this situation ever recurring.

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"I am determined to make South Yorkshire the healthiest region in the country.  We all have a duty to one another to make that happen."

Satellite picture showing burn patches on the Duke of Rutland's Moscar Estate near SheffieldSatellite picture showing burn patches on the Duke of Rutland's Moscar Estate near Sheffield
Satellite picture showing burn patches on the Duke of Rutland's Moscar Estate near Sheffield

The duke is based at Belvoir Castle, a visitor attraction in Leicestershire. He was approached for comment.

Heather is burnt to encourage new green shoots eaten by grouse.

The Moorland Association says 'small controlled burns' create a variety of habitats and reduce the severity of wildfires.