A deal done by the Government with the turf cutters on 1 June was negotiated only to convince Europe that the illegal cutting FIE had reported will end - when all cutting has ended for this season in any event. Even worse, people who cut turf illegally this year have been told they can collect the turf with impunity. So all that was achieved by the Peatland's Council was to grant immunity to illegal turf cutters. By doing so, those who have defied the law benefit, and those who have willingly abided are left wondering why they bothered.

‘The Government has no legal advisor on this Council and the result is that the cutters are being given false expectations of continuing cutting on or adjacent to designated peatlands because of economic, social and cultural requirements - something not in fact allowed under EU law.

Changes in designation boundaries and displacement to other protected sites - as suggested - would also be illegal. Concluding an agreement based on these kind of expectations (as the Peatlands Council has) can only raised false hopes and kick the conflict down the road into another year..

Read the Peatland Council's Statement   |   Read our Press Release

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