Moorland wildfire warning for Peak District after spate of severe blazes

Peak District gamekeepers who helped tackle raging moorland wildfires are warning the blazes could happen again.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 3:36 pm
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 3:36 pm

After six major wildfires on moorland in the north – including two in the Peak District - since the start of the month, conditions on the moors have been described as ‘a tinderbox’ because April was one of the driest on record.

Peak District gamekeepers joined the effort to douse the fire at Marsden Moor, owned by the National Trust, which burned for three days last weekend and into this week, causing devastation over two square miles of moorland.

There have also been fires at Rushup Edge and Baslow in the Peak District.

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Peak District Moorland Group gamekeepers tackling the blaze at Marsden Moor

Richard Bailey, coordinator of the Peak District Moorland Group, said: “Gamekeepers will always assist the fire crews wherever possible to extinguish wildfires in the region, as do gamekeepers in other areas. We would urge the public to comply with the rules and never even think about lighting a flame on moorland.

“Anyone can help be part of the solution if they choose to tell others not to use a disposable barbecue or light a fire on moorland, and call 999 if they see someone doing so. We can all do our bit to protect these beautiful places and safeguard rare species.”

There is already a ban on disposable barbecues and Chinese lanterns in the High Peak as part of the Public Space Protection Order brought in by the local authority.

Disposable barbecues and campfires are also unlawful on open access land all year round, unless specific permission is given in advance by the landowner. Local authorities can impose a fine of up to £1,000