Hengistbury Head fire: could take 10 years for heathland to return to "decent" habitat

Hengistbury Head fire: could take 10 years for heathland to return to

Hengistbury Head fire: could take 10 years for heathland to return to "decent" habitat

First published in News by

IT could take up to 10 years for heathland at Hengistbury Head to return to a “decent” habitat.

That's the view of rangers who have been assessing the damage following an arson attack yesterday afternoon.

The blaze, which Dorset Fire and Rescue confirmed was started deliberately, took hold of 60m by 30m of heathland near the former ironstone quarry in the middle of the reserve.

After an inspection earlier today, rangers believe no animals were killed in the blaze but said the fire scorched vegetation and plant life.

The area is not cordoned off following the fire as there is no safety issues involved.

A spokesperson for Bournemouth council said rangers estimated it could take “about 7-10 years for it to get back to a decent habitat.”

Clem Stanley, station manager at Dorset Fire and Rescue, told the Daily Echo on Tuesday: “Heath fires are dangerous and they take up a lot of the fire service's resources that may be needed elsewhere.

“They also have an environmental impact on the wildlife as well as being dangerous to the people using the heath.”

The blaze was spotted by dozens of beachgoers and walkers, who reported a large plume of smoke billowing from the reserve.

Comments (10)

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1:18pm Wed 23 Jul 14

FriendsofKC says...

Very sad:-(
Very sad:-( FriendsofKC
  • Score: 6

1:26pm Wed 23 Jul 14

BarrHumbug says...

7-10yrs? i doubt it 2-3yrs more likely?
7-10yrs? i doubt it 2-3yrs more likely? BarrHumbug
  • Score: -8

2:29pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Paul Weaver says...

BarrHumbug wrote:
7-10yrs? i doubt it 2-3yrs more likely?
The land will start showing some improvements quite quickly but as we have seen at Canford Heath it does take much longer than 2-3 years to recover totally.

Remember we are talking about a natural area that has no fertilisers added or anything to encouarge it to grow quicker.

The area will need careful ongoing management to return to the heathland as it was before it was burned.
[quote][p][bold]BarrHumbug[/bold] wrote: 7-10yrs? i doubt it 2-3yrs more likely?[/p][/quote]The land will start showing some improvements quite quickly but as we have seen at Canford Heath it does take much longer than 2-3 years to recover totally. Remember we are talking about a natural area that has no fertilisers added or anything to encouarge it to grow quicker. The area will need careful ongoing management to return to the heathland as it was before it was burned. Paul Weaver
  • Score: 3

2:29pm Wed 23 Jul 14

Old Colonial says...

How do you think man created and managed 'heathland' in the first place?
How do you think man created and managed 'heathland' in the first place? Old Colonial
  • Score: 5

3:40pm Wed 23 Jul 14

FriendsofKC says...

Old Colonial wrote:
How do you think man created and managed 'heathland' in the first place?
By managed burning not arson!
[quote][p][bold]Old Colonial[/bold] wrote: How do you think man created and managed 'heathland' in the first place?[/p][/quote]By managed burning not arson! FriendsofKC
  • Score: 1

3:59pm Wed 23 Jul 14

ragj195 says...

The planet is around 4.5 billion years old. I'm sure it will be fine. Plants will come and go, the temperature will go up and down. I'm sure everything will be fine.
The planet is around 4.5 billion years old. I'm sure it will be fine. Plants will come and go, the temperature will go up and down. I'm sure everything will be fine. ragj195
  • Score: 1

4:12pm Wed 23 Jul 14

BarrHumbug says...

Paul Weaver wrote:
BarrHumbug wrote:
7-10yrs? i doubt it 2-3yrs more likely?
The land will start showing some improvements quite quickly but as we have seen at Canford Heath it does take much longer than 2-3 years to recover totally.

Remember we are talking about a natural area that has no fertilisers added or anything to encouarge it to grow quicker.

The area will need careful ongoing management to return to the heathland as it was before it was burned.
Well if its going to be carefully managed then perhaps they could chuck some fertiliser on it while they're there ;) sorted.
[quote][p][bold]Paul Weaver[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]BarrHumbug[/bold] wrote: 7-10yrs? i doubt it 2-3yrs more likely?[/p][/quote]The land will start showing some improvements quite quickly but as we have seen at Canford Heath it does take much longer than 2-3 years to recover totally. Remember we are talking about a natural area that has no fertilisers added or anything to encouarge it to grow quicker. The area will need careful ongoing management to return to the heathland as it was before it was burned.[/p][/quote]Well if its going to be carefully managed then perhaps they could chuck some fertiliser on it while they're there ;) sorted. BarrHumbug
  • Score: -3

10:11pm Wed 23 Jul 14

yet_another_one says...

Maybe mankind or a natural phenomenon - I find it difficult to understand why Adders are a protected species as they have been responsible for killing many dogs, domesticated pets, who get bitten by them.
Maybe mankind or a natural phenomenon - I find it difficult to understand why Adders are a protected species as they have been responsible for killing many dogs, domesticated pets, who get bitten by them. yet_another_one
  • Score: -4

11:35pm Wed 23 Jul 14

whataboutthat says...

Exageration. 180 sq m in a heatland? A gnat's ****. Heathland self combusts - ask anybody who knows the rules of bracken. O level stuff. What is it about fearmongering. Where do you think it will lead? Let's have common sense. If I died tomorrow and my garden grew, as it does and my pathetic 120 sq m was left alone it would be weed and budliea and full of frogs and snails within a year. Surpised you didn't say'Hengistbury Head suffers life changing fire damage' yawn on...
Exageration. 180 sq m in a heatland? A gnat's ****. Heathland self combusts - ask anybody who knows the rules of bracken. O level stuff. What is it about fearmongering. Where do you think it will lead? Let's have common sense. If I died tomorrow and my garden grew, as it does and my pathetic 120 sq m was left alone it would be weed and budliea and full of frogs and snails within a year. Surpised you didn't say'Hengistbury Head suffers life changing fire damage' yawn on... whataboutthat
  • Score: 2

6:00am Thu 24 Jul 14

Phixer says...

whataboutthat wrote:
Exageration. 180 sq m in a heatland? A gnat's ****. Heathland self combusts - ask anybody who knows the rules of bracken. O level stuff. What is it about fearmongering. Where do you think it will lead? Let's have common sense. If I died tomorrow and my garden grew, as it does and my pathetic 120 sq m was left alone it would be weed and budliea and full of frogs and snails within a year. Surpised you didn't say'Hengistbury Head suffers life changing fire damage' yawn on...
Agreed. Heath and forests use fire to regenerate - and it is academic how the fire starts, lightning or arson.

Time and again the doom-mongers open mouth before engaging brain; what a sad life they lead.
[quote][p][bold]whataboutthat[/bold] wrote: Exageration. 180 sq m in a heatland? A gnat's ****. Heathland self combusts - ask anybody who knows the rules of bracken. O level stuff. What is it about fearmongering. Where do you think it will lead? Let's have common sense. If I died tomorrow and my garden grew, as it does and my pathetic 120 sq m was left alone it would be weed and budliea and full of frogs and snails within a year. Surpised you didn't say'Hengistbury Head suffers life changing fire damage' yawn on...[/p][/quote]Agreed. Heath and forests use fire to regenerate - and it is academic how the fire starts, lightning or arson. Time and again the doom-mongers open mouth before engaging brain; what a sad life they lead. Phixer
  • Score: 1

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