Monday, 14 August 2017

Publication of the Final Draft

There has been little to report about the development of the revised Muirburn Code, since the end of the workshops in March. Draft versions of the Code and the associated Supplementary Information, which incorporated the feedback from the workshops, was submitted to the Scottish Government in April, and since then, plenty of work has been taking place to refine this draft.

This blog post provides a summary of the progress and outlines the next steps.

I would like to thank the many people who have contributed to the development of the revised Code. These include:
  • The Review Steering Group,
  • Additional specialists who contributed to the development of the Supplementary Information,
  • Those who commented on the various draft documents, and 
  • Those who attended the four workshops held in February and March.
For obvious reasons, it has not been possible to include every bit of the feedback I have received, but I believe this final draft to be representative of the range of opinion that has been expressed.

Final Draft
The final draft has been circulated to the Review Steering Group, and key contributors to the review process. The current draft is text only. The final version will include additional illustrations and photographs. At this stage, detailed comments are no longer required, but suggestions about structure and any issues that may have been missed or not covered correctly will be considered.

Printed or Web-based
The original intention was for the Code to be web based, and the online content would be supported by the ability to print a full version of the Code or extracts from it, locally.

This approach poses questions around where the Code and the Supplementary Information is hosted, who controls access to it, and the protocol for introducing changes. The Scottish Government will make a decision about final format of the Code.

Photographs and Illustrations
Contributions of good quality photographs showing burning or cutting activity will be welcomed, with a view to adding some illustration to the final version of the Code. The source or the photographer will be credited.

Launch of the Revised Code
Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, has agreed to launch the revised Code on Friday, 22nd September. A proposal has been made to the Scottish Government for this to take place in Perthshire.

The End of the Beginning?
In the report from the initial critique phase of the review, the Muirburn Group recommended a range of issues that should be addressed as part of developing an improved approach to muirburn, which included a closer integration with wildfire issues. Training, certification and research are three important topics that were identified in the Critique Phase Report that have not yet been considered.

The current phase of the review is delivering a revised Muirburn Code, but there remains much work that could be done.

The launch of the Code will be an important milestone, but it will have little impact if the provisions of the revised Code are not acted upon. All those with an interest in muirburn are asked to promote the Code around their networks.

Some presentational material, which may help people to promote the revised Code at their events will be produced and made available on request.

Final Version
The final version of the Code will be made available as soon as possible. An announcement will be made on this blog, and details will be circulated.

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