A fire started on land managed by the RSPB at Dove Stone on 23 April. A team made up of the RSPB, land owners United Utilities, and partners from the Peak District National Park Authority and Life for a Life Memorial Forest , all trained in dealing with moorland fires, are working with the fire service to try and bring the blaze under control.

Despite visitors being encouraged not to come to places like Dove Stone in line with government advice, the RSPB, as part of the partnership managing the area, have had significant issues over the past couple of weeks with large numbers of people using the area. The partnership including Oldham Council, has had to employ our own security to try and deal with this and keep people safe.

The fire has burned an area of 2-3 square km, about a quarter of the area that burned in the Saddleworth Moor fire in 2018. It has already destroyed around £40k’s worth of restoration work carried out by the RSPB. This will effect a wide range of breeding birds and other wildlife such as curlews, golden plovers, meadow pipits and mountain hares.

The RSPB is asking that people stay away from the site until further notice.  

  Curlews are among the moorland species that will be affected by the fire. Image by Tim melling