England moor fires

Attenborough praises Saddleworth Moor fire marshal scheme

Sir David Attenborough has praised a group of volunteers who have offered to patrol sprawling moorland to prevent wildfires from destroying the area.

Sir David Attenborough

More than 100 people have signed up to the safety marshal scheme to protect Dovestone Reservoir and surrounding Saddleworth Moor area this summer.

The area of "outstanding natural beauty" has been repeatedly ravaged by fires - most recently in April.

Sir David described the scheme as a "most valuable initiative".

Dovestone WI moorland fire neighbourhood watch plan
Volunteers want to prevent moorland fires from spreading this summer in Greater Manchester.

Moorland fire will hit newly-grown heather, warns National Trust

A major fire on moorland in the Pennines above Oldham will have a serious effect on heather which has just re-grown after a previous blaze, the National Trust has warned.

Fire crews from West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester spent the night tackling the blaze near Marsden - a few miles north of last year's Saddleworth Moor fire.

Fire scene

The fire broke out at about 19:30 yesterday evening and West Yorkshire Fire Service said it was one of the worst fire crews had ever witnessed.

Mike Elliot, from the National Trust, which owns the land, says: "The heather had only just got re-established after a fire about three years ago.

"It's gradually got back to its normal self, but unfortunately it's going to have to start again."

Fire crews and National Trust volunteers are expected to stay on site for some time.