Barbecue warning after Peak District moorland fire

Fire crews tackle the blaze. Picture: F Stop Press Ltd. +44(0)1335 418365   +44 (0)7765 242650
Fire crews tackle the blaze. Picture: F Stop Press Ltd. +44(0)1335 418365 +44 (0)7765 242650

The National Trust is encouraging visitors to the Peak District to ensure they don’t use portable barbecues, after a large moorland blaze earlier this week.

The fire, which broke out on Monday afternoon near to the Ladybower Reservoir, destroyed 200 acres of heather.

It is believed to have been started by a disposable barbecue and led to firefighters from Derbyshire and neighbouring counties as well as gamekeepers and park rangers being called in to help tackle it.

Ted Talbot, National Trust Countryside Manager for the Peak District, said: “We would always advise people to be fire safe when visiting the Peak District, particularly with extended dry periods raising the fire alert status.

“Portable barbecues are a particular risk and should not be used.

“We would like to thank the fire service, the National Park Authority Ranger Service and local gamekeepers for their swift response in dealing with what could have been a much more serious and damaging fire, had the flames spread further.”

He added: “Much of the moorland the National Trust looks after in the Peak District is nationally and internationally designated for its nature conservation importance.

“On this land we are trying to restore extensive peat-based blanket bogs, which involves making them wetter and hence more resilient to fire damage in the long run. As part of this we encourage well planned vegetation cutting and managed burning to mitigate the risks from fire.

“However, continuing the historic burning of blanket bog will not enable us to restore its beneficial natural functions. Healthy peat bogs are great for wildlife and the natural landscape. In the Peak District they also provide drinking water for millions of people; play a role in protecting us against flooding; and are also massive carbon store in the face of climate change. The Trust is committed to realising these benefits to society through our High Peak Moors Vision. This is something all our tenants and partners have been widely consulted on and signed up to.”