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Don't light barbecues on Studland, pleads National Trust
THE National Trust has urged members of the public to act accordingly on Studland Heath, following a spate of wildfires that have scarred the landscape.
Ranger Ian Delbarre, who works to maintain Studland & Godlingston Heath National Nature Reserve, says irresponsible visitors could be putting lives at risk.
“The fundamental issue for us is that this is a national nature reserve and there are no barbeques or fires allowed within the reserve unless it’s at a designated space on Studland Beach,” he said.
“Gorse burns at 1,200 degrees, marram grass burns very quickly as well, therefore, people’s lives are endangered.”
National Trust staff also want people to think carefully how they dispose of their litter and cigarette ends.
Rangers carry out at least one litter pick along Ferry Road every week, two during holiday season.
“One of the things we often see are cigarette ends that have been discarded,” said Ian. “You will find, especially when the grass at the roadside is dry, that there is often a small burnt patch around where the cigarette end has been thrown out – this could so easily start a fire.
“Please, if you are smoking in your car, use the ash tray. Don’t just throw it out of the window because you are putting people’s lives at risk.”
The ranger’s warning comes after two deliberate heath fires were started at Godlingston one day apart. Significant areas of heathland were destroyed in Sunday and Monday’s blazes.
Last month sixty firefighters battled another wildfire, thought to have been started deliberately, in the same area.
Around one hectare of heath, trees and gorse was destroyed in this incident.
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