26 March 1999


&#8226 UNLICENSED burning of heather, grass, gorse, bracken and vaccinium in England and Wales must be completed by Mar 31 in most areas and by Apr 15 in upland areas. MAFF has warned that no burning is permitted without a licence after those dates until Oct 1 in the uplands and Nov 1 elsewhere.

Unlicensed burning during the restricted period could result in fines of up to £1000.

&#8226 SCOTTISH farm minister Lord Sewel has launched a consultation exercise which will allow the new Scottish Parliament to set priorities for the forestry industry. He said Scotland had the biggest uncommitted forestry resource in Europe with 16% of the land covered by trees.

&#8226 THE West Country Tourist Board has launched a new grant scheme On Track, offering financial assistance to farmers in the Objective 5b areas of Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset to develop their tourism facilities.

Under the scheme, farmers will receive up to a third of the cost of projects costing less than £6000.

The scheme hopes to encourage farms to add to their existing tourism appeal by offering farm trails, access for the disabled or by undertaking small-scale conservation measures.

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