The devastating wildfire currently raging on Saddleworth Moor within the Peak District is a harsh reality of what can happen, how difficult a wildfire is to bring under control, and the devastation that is left behind to moorland and wildlife. Gamekeepers and Farmers are assisting the fire services round the clock to try and bring the fire under control and the army are now also on standby. The continuing press coverage gives very little mention to anyone apart from the Fire Services and now the army and we certainly don’t want to take anything away from them we would just like a little recognition for our guys out there who are also doing a fantastic job too.
Here in the North York Moors we too are experiencing an extremely hot and dry period so please be mindful of this when you are visiting. We have spoken with both Natural England and|North York Moors National Park this morning and rest assured we are putting procedures in place to try and protect not only the moorland but also the wildlife.
This morning it has now been declared that the North York Moors is classed as a Fire Risk and today there will be Fire Banners and Signs put out on all moorland access points . Press releases from the Parks will be following shortly as too will Natural England. I have received several messages asking the question whether the moors should be closed to the public for their own safety. Closing the moors in terms of open access has to meet certain criteria regarding the fire severity index which currently at present in our area it isn’t (not to say it wont hit this soon), however even if open access is temporarily withdrawn Rights of Way can’t be closed.
Summarising the best advice we can give is for everyone attending the moors in any capacity to be extra vigilant. DO NOT discard cigarettes, have a Barbecue in close proximity to the moors or even leave an empty glass bottle as all of these could be real Fire Starters. The countryside that we have is so special as are the vast array of wildlife residing in it, we must all unite in doing what we can to protect it. The Red Listed species including Curlews and Lapwings are birds which are in decline overall in the UK but are doing especially well on our managed moorland, help us look after them.