Posted by: Alan Kearsley-Evans | March 30, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I have been walking across many of our commons this week taking photos of fires which have devastated the rare habitats and wildlife.

Fires on commons are no new thing – they have long been used to remove gorse and regenerate tall/old heather, however timing is everything and it is generally accepted that for conservation reasons small controlled burns in the winter do little lasting damage to the vegetation and animals but uncontrolled burns in spring disturb birds nests, damage plants as they are just coming to life after the winter and cause harm to emerging reptiles such as snakes and lizards.

 

It wasn’t all doom and gloom however! Its difficult to stay down when the weather is so nice and with skylarks and chaffinches battling for the noisiest bird competition and dog violets emerging like jewels in the grass I headed across Ryers Down.

     Lambs were enjoying the sun and the freedom of the common and just to lighten my mood even more I discovered the rhododendron, which are due to be cut back this winter, had been damaged in the fire; every cloud has a silver lining after all!

 

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Responses

  1. Hi Alan. Very interesting to hear about the aftermath of the Gower fires. Traveling through Wales over the last few days I’ve seen large fires on the Preseli, Rhinogau and Tal y Fan near Conwy. Funny, I thought that the last legal date for heather and gorse burning was weeks ago!?

  2. Hi Alan. Very interesting to read about the aftermath of the Gower fires. Traveling around Wales this week I’ve seen big fires on the Preseli, Rhinogau and Tal y Fan near Conwy. I thought that the last legal date for heather and gorse burning was weeks ago!

    • Hi Richard, I don’t know whether to feel relieved or more annoyed that it isn’t just confined to Gower. Yes burning is only a winter thing officially and it is extremely important to get a burning consent from CCW before starting a fire – any confusion over start and end dates would always be picked up at this stage. Wow road trip round Wales in the sun – sounds ideal!


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