November 30, 2021

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Two years after Marden Moor fires people are STILL having BBQs on moors

Two years after Marden Moor fires people are STILL having BBQs on moors
Invalid EmailSomething went wrong, please try again later.When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Your information will be used in accordance with ourPrivacy Notice.Irresponsible visitors to moors who continue to use BBQs on the "tinderbox" land are putting the site at risk of disasterous wildfires. Two years…
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Irresponsible visitors to moors who continue to use BBQs on the “tinderbox” land are putting the site at risk of disasterous wildfires.

Two years on from a devastating wildfire at Marsden Moor, rangers are worried that several weeks of dry weather, combined with people still lighting BBQs on the dry moorland, could cause more fires in the area.

A huge blaze raged over 700 hectares of land back in April 2019 – destroying vital habitats for rare birds and mountain hares.

That wildfire was caused by a discarded disposable BBQ – and the blaze burned for four days before responders were able to bring it under control.

Craig Best, countryside manager for the National Trust, has asked people to take responsibility to protect the area.

He said: “The 2019 fire caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, put lives at risk and destroyed acres of important wildlife habitats.

“It was a huge blow to this country’s nature conservation.

“Sadly, we’ve had several moorland fires since. Climate change is causing more frequent and intense spells of hot, dry weather, which turns these upland areas into tinder boxes.



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“Another huge part of our work has been to continue to educate the public of the dangers of moorland fire. However, we are still seeing people bringing BBQs to the moors.

“We’ve increased our patrols and work 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 need everyone to take responsibility to help us care for this landscape for generations.”

The 2019 fire was the largest seen on National Trust land in recent years, with restoration work expected to take several more years and cost at least £500,000.

Rangers have been working to try and reduce the risk of wildfires since the blaze, building natural dams to hydrate thousands of hectares of bogs which help to stop flames spreading.

They’ve also planted sphagnum mosses, a type of moss that stores a lot of water, and keep the vegetation along the roadsides mowed short to reduce the potential fuel for a fire.

Visitors to the moor are banned from lighting fires or BBQs at any time of year to protect the landscape – anyone caught breaking that ban could be fined up to £2,000.

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