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Studland heath fire killed rare protected reptiles, experts confirm
1:56pm Tuesday 13th August 2013 in News
A NUMBER of protected reptiles were killed during the latest Studland Heath arson attack, experts have confirmed.
Dorset Fire and Rescue Service fought the wildfire at Godlingston yesterday evening, 24-hours after tackling another deliberate blaze less than three-quarters of a mile away.
Four fire engines, four Land Rovers and the Uni Mog all-terrain vehicle were called to the latest incident after being alerted to the night time blaze at 8.44pm by a person in a boat off Old Harry Rocks.
Wildlife experts say, as in Sunday's Studland Heath attack, it could take up to 30 years for the burnt heathland to return to its pre-fire state.
National Trust ranger Paul Bradley said: “The site of this latest fire was pretty hard to get to. It's different to the one off Ferry Road, where some opportunist may have just walked in off the road.”
The ranger also said it was rare to have a night time heath fire in Studland.
“The three fires we've had on Godlingston in the last month have all been within spitting distance of one another, they're all very close together.
“I was up there at 6.30am in the morning and we'll be checking again. There are dead reptiles and the living ones do not have cover anymore.
“In places flint stones have cracked through the heat of the fire, it must have been very, very hot.”
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