THE Peak District National Park Authority is promoting a wildlife fund following the spate of moorland fires that have devastated the region.
Donations to the fund will support fire prevention messages, volunteer costs and restoration work with moorland partners.
Over the past weeks, national park staff have supported emergency services at more than 20 moorland fires, fuelled by a combination of hot, dry weather, light breezes and parched ground.
Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the public’s concern and offers of support – and that has led to the launch of this wildfire fund. Your donation will help to support our fire prevention work with partners and the work of our invaluable FireWatch volunteers.”
She added: “It’s heartbreaking to see swathes of our internationally important landscapes being damaged. Wildfires are catastrophic for wildlife, flora and, importantly, the peat itself which not only provides unique habitat but vital carbon and water storage.
“The smallest spark can lead to huge amounts of damage. Ashes blown from a barbecue, a broken glass, a dropped cigarette butt can devastate our precious and protected landscapes, and affect people’s livelihoods. The damage to the environment, wildlife, habitats and vegetation takes years to recover.”
You can help by donating to: www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/wildfirefund
The risk of fires remains high. You can also help by:
* Reporting sightings of smoke or fire as quickly as possible by dialling 999 and giving an accurate location;
* Taking home all your litter and any glass you may find on the moors;
* Not using BBQs on the moors or general countryside;
* Not dropping cigarette butts.