National Trust rangers warn of an increased risk of moorland fires over the coming weeks
Date published: 29 March 2021
A fire is extinguished at Black Moss Reservoir last week. Image courtesy of National Trust Images / Jack Simmons
With warm weather forecast and the lockdown restrictions easing, National Trust rangers are warning of an increased fire risk on Marsden Moor.
Last Tuesday (March 23), rangers and firefighters dealt with a fire near Black Moss Reservoir, the first of the season.
The fire, which covered 200m x 200m, was in an area that’s a haven for ground nesting birds including Curlew and Short Eared Owl.
BBQs and fires are banned on the moors all year round to protect this precious landscape.
Visitors are reminded that defying the BBQ ban could result in a fine of up to £2,000.
Countryside Manager for the National Trust, Craig Best, said, “We know lots of people will be really keen to get back to the countryside as restrictions ease.
"This year we’ve all realised how important nature is for our wellbeing.
"We want the public to help us protect this landscape by leaving the BBQ at home and bringing a picnic to the moors instead.
“Our rangers have already dealt with one fire this year and we’re keen to avoid a repeat of previous years’ fires.
"We’ll be increasing our patrols and working closely with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to try and keep this landscape safe.
“All moorland fires are started by people; either by litter, dropped cigarettes, BBQs or deliberately.
"We’d ask the public to stay local, to avoid putting too much pressure on beauty spots.
"If they see a fire or a lit BBQ, please dial 999.”
The ban on BBQs and fires on Marsden Moor runs all year round and is part of a PSPO (Public Spaces Protection Order).
In April 2019, a fire that covered 700 hectares of the moors and burnt for four days was started by a BBQ.
It’s estimated that fire caused £500,000 worth of damage.
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