Interdisciplinary Research on Ecosystem Services:
Fire and Climate Change in UK Moorlands and Heaths

Seminar One

The role of managed fire in ecosystem services of UK moorlands and heathlands

The University of Edinburgh, 31 March - 1 April 2008

Experimental muirburn management fire

An experimental muirburn management fire.

FIRES series launched at Edinburgh

Over 60 delegates attended the first meeting of the FIRES series on 31 March in the magnificent surroundings of Playfair Library, Old College, University of Edinburgh. This was followed by a dinner and workshop in the Raeburn room for about 35 invited participants, and a discussion seminar the next day in the Crewe Building.

The seminar reviewed how fire has been used historically, and the role of managed burning today. The ecosystem services provided by UK moorlands and heathlands were identified, including: biodiversity; carbon budget; water provision; rural livelihoods; landscape quality and recreational use. The focus for debate was the extent to which managed fires contribute to the maintenance of these ecosystem services or pose threats to them, especially with changes in climate.

Gallery (click to enlarge)

  • Julia McMorrow (click to enlarge)
  • Adam Smith (click to enlarge)
  • Colin Legg (click to enlarge)
  • Poster session (click to enlarge)


Day one was a conference-style event with plenary discussion sessions attended by over 60 delegates. It was open to anyone with an interest in the relationship between managed fire and ecosystem services of moorlands and heaths.  Approximately half of attendees were academic and half were practitioners.  Day two was a round table discussion seminar for about 35 invited participants.


Additional Sponsors


   Day One
   Day Two
   Breakout group reports
  • The evolution of land management priorities breakout group (PDF, 10KB), Andrew Coupar.
  • How do we transfer resources (money) from beneficiaries of ecosystem services to producers? Pat Thompson (in conference booklet).
  • Spatial Zoning & Integration of Land Uses, Ethan Bigelow (in conference booklet).
  • The Evolution of Land Management Priorities, Alan Gray (in conference booklet).