We just wanted to update people about the fire at Dove Stone last night – it’s hard to write enough detail on Twitter!
The fire started yesterday evening above Chew Brook. We don’t have any details about how it started but we are surmising it was either accidental (by someone having a BBQ) or it was arson.
It affected in the region of 20-30 hectares, roughly the same area that was burnt two springs ago – primarily grassland, and some bracken.
The fire mostly burnt out overnight – fire-fighters put out the remaining flames this morning, and the RSPB Site Manager and Wardens checked the fire site for any hotspots. United Utilities and the National Park Ranger were also out at the site at 5.45 this morning.
Luckily the fire didn’t reach the blanket bog, nor burn into areas of woodland or new woodland planting. Most birds aren’t nesting yet so luckily not too damaging all round.
We have two Assistant Wardens up above the fire site today, who will keep an eye out for re-alighting - unlikely as the ground is still pretty damp.
People have been really supportive on our social media channels and your words of support and offers of help have been much appreciated. As far as helping goes there are several things you can do.
To help with fire prevention (which is what we ideally want):
Please keep your eyes open for any signs of fire and report anything you see to the fire service. The quicker they are able to respond the less damage will occur
In general you can support the work being done at Dove Stone by:
Becoming a volunteer
We will continue to work closely with the National Park and Fire Service, after every fire there is a review of lessons learnt which can help with future fire management.
We know that many fires are started deliberately and need to stress how potentially dangerous this can be. The risk isn’t just to wildlife and habitats, but to farms, livestock and in the worst case scenario human life.
Of course an additional benefit of the all the conservation work being carried out by our staff and amazing local volunteers is that by making the bog wetter, it makes it harder for a fire to spread.
A big thanks to the Fire Service and to all those who were involved in putting this fire out as well as to those who have shared information via social media. Manchester Fire Service have 2 Wildlife Volunteers up at Dove Stone today and tomorrow raising awareness of this issue, so a big thanks to them too!
It was a very quiet day at Binn Green with only robin, chaffinch, goldfinch, coal tit and great tit - and oh yes, a few pheasant. One point of interest was the call of a curlew overhead.
The peregrines kept out of view at Ashway Gap as did the ravens. Pied wagtail, wren and meadow pipit were evident and there were reports of wheatear near the quarry, stonechat up towards Greenfield reservoir and skylark on the tops.
The rhododendron alley is now cleared after a tremendous effort by the wardens and volunteers which was followed up with another big effort pushing the van out of the mud in the picnic area!
Only the usual suspects were in attendance on Friday at the Binn Green feeding site - Chaffinch, blackbird, robin, great tit, coal tit, blue tit, siskin with a late appearance of a great spotted woodpecker to liven things up.
A trip down to Ashway Gap improved sightings with 2 peregrines, a raven, pied wagtail, grey wagtail, meadow pipit and really good views of a dipper.