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padodes
2007-04-09 20:30:14
The hills a-burning
In the Dublin and Wicklow mountains, too, the recent anticyclonic conditions have already been marked by fires that have blackened large areas of hillside. (Glenmacnass, across from the waterfall, is an ugly case in point.) This is becoming more and more a feature of warm weather conditions. In some instances it is the systematic burning of heather to promote grazing for sheep, but it is clearly due as well to carelessness or malice. I don't suppose there is much that can be done to prevent malicious intent, but I often wonder about the wisdom of burning the hills for grazing. It seems rather shortsighted when you consider that, when the rain comes, it causes very visible erosion of blanket bog, and when it doesn't come, as sometimes happens, the hills remain black and inhospitable like a mound of charcoal the whole summer - no paradise for sheep or for walkers either, for that matter. With the prospect of rising temperatures in the coming decades, I hate to think what the Garden of Ireland will become.
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