Habitat directive makes Sinclair's Bolton Fell a special area of conservation

Bolton Fell, the Cumbrian peat bog owned and operated by William Sinclair, has been made a Special Area of Conservation by Defra, meaning it will now be restored under an EU habitat directive.

The production of peat is to end, though that may not happen for several years. The 100 staff who work on site, as well as at Sinclair, will receive compensation.

A Sinclair representative said: "In April 2008, William Sinclair was approached by Natural England to discuss the submission to the EU of the company's bog at Bolton Fell in Cumbria as a Special Area of Conservation."

Sinclair has "engaged co-operatively in these discussions" and has "consistently managed Bolton Fell bog with the intention of a full restoration of the original upland raised mire as soon as was practicable".

The representative said restoration started on a large area of the bog six years ago and that the firm is pleased with the regeneration that it has been achieved so far.

Sinclair harvests 60 per cent of its peat in Scotland. It also has a supply from the Joseph Metcalf site near Manchester.

- For more information, see www.jncc.gov.uk/page-1374.

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