Derby

Barbecue and camp fire warning in Peak District

Rangers in the Peak District are warning people not to light barbecues or camp fires, because of a higher than normal risk of forest fires.

Recent dry weather and lack of rain means the dry ground is more likely to ignite.

There have already been six moorland fires in the national park in the past month.

Rangers said these could harm wildlife, destroy rare plants and cause erosion, which can take years to put right.

'Rare environments'

They said moorland fires could have a particularly devastating effect at this time of year as they could endanger the young of ground-nesting birds and other young creatures such as lambs.

Fires have broken out at Dovestones near Oldham, Marsden Moor, Ramshaw Rocks near Warslow, Walker Edge near Broomhead reservoir, Moscar Moor near Ladybower and Reaps Moor near Warslow.

Visitors are also being urged not to drop cigarette ends or leave glass behind.

Peak District National Park head of field services Sean Prendergast said: "It is glorious weather for walking on the moors, but we're asking people to be especially careful at this time of high fire risk.

"These are not empty places, they're areas of international importance for their wildlife and plants, and they absorb and store carbon which helps tackle global warming.

"Moorland fires undo many years of hard work in managing these rare environments. If people see anyone acting suspiciously on the moors we ask them to report it to the police immediately."

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