by John Clarke, Developement Officer North.
It is not only Brighton Beach that has seen a huge increase in visitors in recent weeks our uplands are suffering a similar fate. Huge volumes of visitors to the Peak District National Park have caused untold damage through the use of disposable BBQ’s. Last night (25th June) yet again another wildfire was detected by vigilant gamekeepers in the Peak district, with the help of the fire brigade, 11 moorland estates plus equipment and concerned locals, thankfully the fire was brought under control 3 1/2 hours later. unfortunately 80 acres of pristine habitat and wildlife was lost in the flames, smoke and ash.
This behaviour is being mirrored across all parts of the country. When did peoples perceptions change as to what is acceptable and what isn’t? When was it ok to go to our most beautiful places and set it on fire, destroying not only the habitat but the wildlife that lives in it? When did the message change from the countryside code that i watched on TV as a child which told people to take their rubbish home? It now seems the norm to leave bottles, bags and all kinds of rubbish strewn around in our beautiful places. Surely this rubbish cannot be being discarded and the environmental damage caused by wildfire be caused the same generation that only 6 months ago were saying us oldies had stolen their future?
Do you know that in 2019 in England there were 90+ wildfires (classified as such by the Fire Brigade) in England and wales, This year alone there has now been nearly 130, with the majority being started at beauty spots in supposed lockdown!
Thankfully across the country there are people who care and have taken it upon themselves to watch over and tidy the place up, these tweed clad super heroes are taking it upon themselves to put themselves in harms way fighting wildfires caused by BBQs etc… and before anyone says that gamekeepers burn heather as part of the management of the uplands, setting a controlled burn in October through until April when the vegetation is damp is totally different to a fire in June when the vegetation is snuff dry and the habitat is lifting with a miriad of creatures building nests to propogate their survival.
These Tweed super heroes are also picking up the rubbish left behind by a countless swarm of day trippers. Across all of our uplands Gamekeepers are taking the initiative and picking up litter left behind by the most uncaring and selfish people in our society.
So to all of the Men and women who are looking after the countryside, and are spending their evenings picking up litter and fighting fires so that it can be enjoyed by future generations, I salute you, Keep up the good work.