Three years before Marsden moorland habitat recovers from weekend’s fire
IT could take up to three years before the habitat recovers from this weekend’s devastating fire on Marsden Moor.
Dedicated volunteers have still not been able to access the moorland due to hotspots which raged over the weekend.
At its height, more than one fifth of the fire brigade’s appliances were fighting the flames, including one of the force’s three specialist wildfire units which is based in Holmfirth.
National Trust property manager Judith Patrick says they are all disheartened but added that a Dunkirk spirit would spur them on.
She said: “We haven’t been able to assess it yet, but it’s rained quite heavily up here which we’re thankful for.
“We’re hoping to go up with a survey team on Wednesday and have a look at what the fire has done to the vegetation.
“The difficulty is we’re not going to be able to quantify how many nesting birds and nests have been lost. Even if we don’t lose the nests, we’ve lost the habitat for the next few years.”
She said it’s been a decade since they had a fire covering such a large area and with such severity, although other recent fires had devastated moorland.
“It could take two to three years for the vegetation to get back to how it was.
“We’re all feeling pretty depressed by it, but a Dunkirk spirit will set in when we can get up there and start to put things right. Out of tragedy will come good.”
It is thought the blaze may have been sparked by quad-biking arsonists and West Yorkshire Police continue to investigate the incident.