/ NEWS: Fire at Ramshaw Rocks

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UKH News - on 12 Apr 2011
Ramshaw Burn 3, 4 kb

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

Henry L Buckle - on 12 Apr 2011
In reply to UKH News:

Smoking materials? I love offical speak.
ChrisHolloway1 - on 12 Apr 2011
In reply to Henry L Buckle: Translation; Some moron who decided it was easier to ditch their fag end on the floor than take it home with them
Will Hunt - on 12 Apr 2011
In reply to UKH News:

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.
loz01 - on 12 Apr 2011
In reply to Will Hunt:

True, but not ideal in the middle of nesting season.
Lucas - on 12 Apr 2011
In reply to UKH News:
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.

CurlyStevo - on 13 Apr 2011
In reply to Will Hunt:
naturally would this area not be wooded?
Neil Henson - on 13 Apr 2011
In reply to UKH News: I think the phrase "we had to enlist the help of specialised rangers to advise us when darkness fell" could have been worded better. Makes it look like they couldn't work out when it was dark.
Will Hunt - on 13 Apr 2011
In reply to CurlyStevo:
Quite possibly but not necessarily. Many conservationists don't really see uniform climax as a good goal and aim for a mix of habitats.
Snoweider - on 13 Apr 2011
In reply to Will Hunt:

> 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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johnc400 - on 14 Apr 2011
In reply to UKH News: Last summer driving back from Buxton to Leek I saw four lads standing around by the fire that had been started by the Winking Man and rang 999. That fire was contained to a small area and put out quickly. Only the other week there was builder's foam sprayed over the Winking Man rock. Both incidents of mindless vandalism which prompts me to question such a quick and easy assumption that the latest fire behind Ramshaw was accidental.

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