Firefighters tackle blaze on Marsden Moor over Easter 2019 – (Source: National Trust)
By Greg Dawson
Damage caused by fires on Marsden Moor will take decades to restore according to the National Trust.
On the 21st of April, large parts of moorland were destroyed by several fires that are thought to be caused by a disposable barbecue. The largest fire destroyed around 700 of hectares of land as it burned for four days, its estimates around £500,00 will be needed to repair the damage.
This cost would cover restoration of peat soil which I used as a nesting ground for rare birds such as Curlew and Twite, as well as a home for mountain Hares.
Peat is also considered an important part of the environment as a whole, removing C02 from the atmosphere and storing it under years of waterlogged plant matter and soil.
In September, a fundraiser has been set up to help repair the moor, reaching its £100,000 goal.
Money raised will help fund the rangers to continue working on the moor as well as fire and flood reduction in the area.
Everyone from rangers in the national trust to scout groups have worked hard replacing crucial sphagnum moss which will help restore the peat. A great abundance of sphagnum moss would also help keep the moors wetter, acting as a fire prevention strategy for the future.
Other preventative work done includes creating fire breaks by cutting away flammable grass from alongside roads and parts of the moors, some funding used to replace burnt signs and fences.
Lead Ranger, Tom Harman said; “The damage is a massive blow to this country’s nature conservation and to the wider climate change issues we face across the world.”