By Leah Conway
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) has re-launched its ‘Be Moor Aware’ Campaign. The National Trust and Yorkshire Water are supporting WYFRS’s campaign.
‘Be Moor Aware’
The ‘Be Moor Aware’ campaign calls on the public to be vigilant and respect the countryside. WYFRS are reminding the public of this as lockdown eases across England.
The rule of six has returned to England. People are allowed to gather outdoors over the Easter Bank Holiday. The Met Office predicts the bank holiday weekend to be a dry weekend with temperatures of around 13C.
“Protect our precious landscapes.”
Fire Service Area Manager, Scott Donegan, said: “We know people will be eager to share time with family members they have not seen in so long and getting outdoors is a great way to support our physical and mental health.
“We would just like to remind people that if they are planning to socialise in the great outdoors that they respect Public Space Protection Orders which are in place to protect our precious landscapes and behave responsibly so not to cause fires.
“We have seen a number of fires in the countryside in recent weeks and at this time of year, we do tend to see an increase in these types of fires as the weather picks up.
Scott added: “We are re-launching our Be Moor Aware campaign to remind people to be vigilant. Wildfires can spread very quickly, threatening the safety of people, animals and property.
“They take a lot of the Fire Service’s time and resources to extinguish meaning that our firefighters could be tied up dealing with a moorland fire when there is another serious house fire or road traffic collision elsewhere where people’s lives are in danger. Please do think of the consequences of your actions and be responsible.”
Yorkshire Water Supports ‘Be Moor Aware’
Gaynor Craigie, Head of Land and Property at Yorkshire Water, said: “As lockdown restrictions are eased, we’re expecting more people to take advantage of meeting others in an outdoor setting. It is important those visiting Yorkshire’s beautiful open spaces are responsible and ensure the land is left how they found it for others to enjoy.
“One particular danger as the weather gets warmer is wildfire. Often these are caused by visitors lighting fires or barbecues and we’ve already had fires on our land near Ogden reservoir, which could have been far more serious. Wildfires pose a risk to live, vitally important habitats and significantly impact local wildlife, so it is important visitors to the countryside do everything they can to prevent fires.
“We’re backing West Yorkshire Fire Service’s ‘Be Moor Aware’ campaign and, in partnership with National Trust, have employed three new countryside rangers who will be operating across our sites to increase our presence across our land in Yorkshire and support with managing visitor wellbeing and maintenance.”
“Keep Marsden Moor looking beautiful.”
Craig Best, Countryside Manager for the National Trust’s Marsden Moor, said, “Moorland fires cause severe damage to our precious uplands. Not only do they destroy wildlife and their habitats, they also damage peat soils which have a big effect on carbon emissions.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors back to enjoy the moors after lockdown restrictions are lifted, but ask that people leave the BBQ at home. We know that enjoying time in nature has been so important to people this year, but we want to keep Marsden Moor looking beautiful.”
Below are some simple steps you can take to help protect the wildlife and moors:
- Clear up and take your rubbish home after picnics
- Observe all signs and notices – they are there for a reason
- Follow the Countryside Code and look out for signs at National Trust and Yorkshire Water properties
- Don’t leave glass bottles. Not only can they hurt people and animals, but they can magnify the sun’s rays and start a fire
- If you notice anything suspicious, report it by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through the moor watch website at www.moorwatch.co.uk
- Never throw lighted cigarette ends onto the ground or out of the window of vehicles or trains. Always ensure that they are completely extinguished and disposed of responsibly.
- Never be tempted to light a fire in the countryside and only barbecue in authorised areas
A string of outdoor blazes
There has been an increase in wildfires in the countryside in recent weeks. Wildfires are a risk to life, can cause harm to wildlife and nature and use up a lot of the Fire Services time and resources. Remember to be aware and respectful when going into the countryside in the coming weeks and months.