Moorland Fires

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16th May 2019

The recent devastating fires on moorland in West Yorkshire and across the region have prompted Kirklees Council to draft a temporary public space protection order (PSPO) to ban fires and barbecues in public open spaces in the borough, which will remain in place until October 2019.

Ilkley from White Wells
Ilkley from White Wells

The Huddersfield Examiner has launched a campaign for new national legislation in the wake of recent fires for a permanent ban on barbecues on moorland and in public open spaces.

CPRE West Yorkshire have added their voice to this campaign, alongside the National Trust, the West Yorkshire Police and the Fire and Rescue Service. Robert Bamforth, Trustee of CPRE West Yorkshire wrote to the Huddersfield Examiner:

‘The moorland fires around Marsden, earlier this year, were devastating to wildlife and the environment. West Yorkshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is therefore delighted to join with the National Trust and others to support the Examiners campaign to ban barbecues and fires from moorland and public spaces. We will do all we can to raise this issue nationally, via the CPRE network and our direct government contacts, because the ban needs to be a simple, clear, national ban for it to be effective’.

We do hope that others will sign up to this campaign to help protect and enhance our unique countryside both as a habitat and for people to enjoy for the future.

CPRE West Yorkshire met with the National Trust last year to see detailed plans for “re-wetting” parts of the Marsden Moor Estate. The National Trust had recently planted Marsden Moor with sphagnum moss. This type of moss is a key peat-forming species that naturally holds a lot of water, and therefore mitigates against future fires on the moors. This moss along with dams to block gullies will need replacing as part of the ongoing restoration of the landscape to make the moorland wetter.