Charnwood Lodge National Nature Reserve has effectively been closed following a significant fire on the Warren Hills. The fire, which began on Monday evening, has re-ignited three times so far. The Fire Brigade has closed Abbey Road to protect the fire crews working on the fires and the damping down operation. At this stage it is not clear when it will be declared safe or when the road will re-open.
In effect the nature reserve is closed to visitors. However this is a small price to pay to ensure the rest of the heathland habitat is preserved. So far about one hectare has been lost but each time the fire has flared up it spreads into new and larger areas. The fire fighting has been hampered by the dry weather and strong winds. The fire is also seeping into the peat and dry bracken which is making it very difficult to contain.
The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust is urging everyone to be vigilant and take extra care when in the countryside. The cause of this fire has not been confirmed but a broken bottle found in the ashes may have focused the sunlight.
Update 7th July
The fire on the Warren Hills appears to be out, Abbey Road has re-opened and the reserve is therefore accessible again. The fire brigade are carrying out regular inspections just in case. Sadly we have lost some big patches of bilberry (food plant of the beautiful Green Hair-streak butterfly) but thankfully for now the fire has been contained.
We would urge all visitors to the countryside in the coming weeks to be extra vigilant.
1) Don't smoke
2) Don't have BBQ's
3) Take home any rubbish you see
4) Report any smoke or fire immediately via 999
Related categories: General