Using aerial photography and satellite images, 45,000 1-km squares were mapped across Scotland, England and Wales, and revealed that burning occurred across 8,551 of these squares, including 5,245 squares in Scotland. In the ten year period covered by the study from 2001 to 2011, the number of burns recorded increased rapidly by 11 per cent each year.
For more information see the RSPB press release. The paper has been published in Biological Conservation. The abstract of the paper can be viewed online and the full paper is available to download for a fee.
This paper, and others like it, will need to be considered as part of the review of the Muirburn Code. Our understanding of the uplands has improved in many areas since the current Code was published in 2001, but the expansion of our understanding of peatland has been the biggest area of change.