Rural groups have welcomed the High Court's dismissal of Wild Justice's judicial review of Defra's most recent burning legislation in England.
The judicial review had sought to disrupt the Heather and Grass Burning (England) Regulations 2021.
The rules ban heather burning on the UK's most protected sites with peat of more than 40cm unless under licence for special beneficial circumstances.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation, the Countryside Alliance and the Moorland Association successfully applied to join the proceedings as interested parties.
As a result they were able to submit evidence to the judge in the case, Mr Justice Dove, who considered this material when reaching his decision to throw the case out.
Wild Justice have been ordered to pay Defra costs up to the sum of £8,900 and the interested parties £1,100.
A spokesperson for the organisations, said: “This is positive news for the dedicated and hard-working land managers who are responsible for protecting, preserving and promoting our uplands.
"Heather burning is permitted between only October and April on shallow peat and in very exceptional circumstances on deeper peat.
"Burning is only undertaken in the right place, at the right time and for the right reason.
"Controlled burning does not damage peatland as the technique burns the heather but not the peat below it."
They added: “Wild Justice’s application was speculative at best but required a firm opposition by Defra which was reinforced by our submissions as interested parties.
"We will continue to work with Defra to ensure land managers have the tools at their disposal so that they can benefit key habitats and species."
The parties have agreed that the costs recovered from Wild Justice will be donated to the Gamekeepers Welfare Trust charity.