/ NEWS: Fire at Ramshaw Rocks
Approximately two square miles of heathland caught fire on Saturday night at Ramshaw Rocks in the Staffordshire Peak District. The blaze took 15 fire crews over 20 hours to fully extinguish.
Read more at http://www.ukhillwalking.com/news/item.php?id=61616
Smoking materials? I love offical speak.
While fires caused by human carelessness are to be discouraged, burns on heather moorland are part of a perfectly normal cycle of disturbance and secondary succession that create interesting habitat mosaics and increase the biodiversity of an area.
For the lovers of the successional underdogs this burned stand may be rapidly recolonised by lichens (Davies & Legg, 2008) and some studies have shown that Golden Plover, Lapwing and Curlew may thrive on burned heather stands (Tharme et al., 2001).
Actively trying to prevent any fires on moorlands can also result in a build up of dead woody material which turns the hillside into a tinderbox which, when it inevitably catches, can cause devastatingly large fires.
True, but not ideal in the middle of nesting season.
While in the middle of nesting is not ideal, Will is right in that this will not a major disaster and this type of ecosystem will have a certain amount of fire tolerance in it.
It will be great chance to see nature at work, as one of my lecturers once told us, Plants just want to grow so leave them too it. Watching the new growth will be fantastic.
naturally would this area not be wooded?
Quite possibly but not necessarily. Many conservationists don't really see uniform climax as a good goal and aim for a mix of habitats.
True, but the heather moorland of the peak district is not a natural habitat either in the true sense, and in itself represents uniform climax of habitat.
Agree that small scale burning of the moor can improve biodiversity but a 2 square mile wildfire is pretty devastating. I can't speak for the peak but when we have wildfires on the heather moor up here the heat generated often destroys the seedbed in the peat and it takes much longer for regen to happen than with a controlled burn.....
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