Wildfires caused by barbecues harming wildlife, says National Trust

The National Trust is urging people not to take a barbecue or light a campfire when they visit the coast and countryside following a spate of wildfires that have damaged flora and fauna.

Despite recent rainfall, a record-breaking spring of sunshine has left many landscapes dry and created the perfect conditions for fires to ignite and quickly spread.

Since the start of April, several large blazes have broken out on the trust’s land, including one at Froward Point on the Devon coast that was started by a barbecue and required six fire engines and a police helicopter to extinguish. Woodland and heathland were damaged.

Around 2 sq km of land was damaged at Marsden Moor in West Yorkshire, an important site for ground-nesting birds such as the curlew, short-eared owl and merlin.

In May, a heathland fire damaged Thurstaston Common on the Wirral peninsula, in north-west England, which is home to lizards, tiger beetles and migrant birds. Prime heathland habitat was lost.

Mersey Fire

Station Manager Lauren Woodward gives a tour of the devastation at Thurstaston Common where she is Incident Commander today. Please listen to the messages from firefighters at the scene or we will have no beauty spots left to visit. @WirralCouncil @NaturalEngland pic.twitter.com/l3ssIdp30g

May 29, 2020

At Studland Beach in Dorset, fire crews extinguished 30 unattended barbecues in a single night.

There has also been an increase in litter at many sites, which the trust says not only blights the landscape but poses a threat to wildlife and can fuel wildfires. At Dovedale, in the Peak District, volunteers filled 100 bin bags in one weekend.

Ben McCarthy, the head of nature conservation at the National Trust, said: “We know that people have missed the outdoors and open spaces these past few months – and we’re really pleased to be welcoming them back.

“But we’re urging people not to bring barbecues to the countryside or the coast. They can lead to real problems, particularly after such little rain in April and May.

“Many areas of land are still very dry and all it takes is a single spark from a barbecue or a dropped cigarette to cause a serious fire.

“Fires like these undermine our work to care for nature and respond to the climate emergency, which are priorities for the National Trust.”

Incidences of UK wildfires are increasing in number and severity, in part due to changing weather patterns. Last year was particularly worrying for fire services and conservation charities with the unseasonably warm February and Easter contributing to blazes across the country.

Among these was a devastating fire on Marsden Moor in April 2019 that destroyed 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of wildlife habitat, including that of the mountain hare, and burned for four days.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Trading Ideas, Latest News, And Articles.

Please Enter Your Email Address:

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!


Trading schedule changes due to Easter holidays

Please pay attention that on April 09-13, 2020, the trading schedule for several instruments will be changed due to Good Friday and the following...

Australia’s booming LNG industry stalls after fall in oil prices amid coronavirus

The extraordinary growth in Australia's liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, the main cause of recent rises in national greenhouse gas emissions, has stalled indefinitely,...

Changes in trading schedule, May 2020

In observance of the upcoming Labor Day on May 1st, 2020, certain changes will be introduced to the trading schedule. Please refer to the...

Be a citizen scientist: track plastic waste, spot a spider monkey or beat coronavirus

People feeling time hang heavy as they struggle with the restrictions of the lockdown may find an unexpected green uplift in the midst of...

Leverage reduction on Gas CFD

Due to the possible increase of volatility in the price of gas in the coming weeks, Dukascopy is temporarily reducing leverage on gas CFD...