Visitors urged to take care to prevent wildfires

With the recent hot, dry weather, visitors to the Malvern Hills are being reminded to be aware of the risk of wildfires on the Hills and Commons. 

This summer’s high temperatures and low rainfall has resulted in the drying of the vegetation, including scrub and grasslands, on the hills and commons.  This greatly increases the chances wildfires starting and spreading quickly.

The Malvern Hills Trust are advising people to be extra careful when out enjoying the warm weather. 

Beck Baker, Community and Conservation Officer said,  ‘We’re asking people to take a few precautions to reduce the chance of wildfires, for example, extinguishing cigarettes properly and never throwing cigarette ends on the ground or out of the car.’

BBQ’s are not permitted on the hills and commons due to the risk they pose for potentially starting wildfires.  Disposable barbeques are particularly problematic as they can be windblown, and, if placed directly on the ground, cause damage to the important grassland vegetation underneath. The Trust are also asking visitors not to release or light any Chinese or sky lanterns.

Beck commented ‘Wildfires often don’t start by themselves, and the majority of wildfires are started by people either accidentally or deliberately. We’re asking people to remain vigilant and act responsibly in the warm, dry weather.’

A wildfire on the Hills and Commons could put the public, grazing livestock and nearby residential properties at risk.  Fire can also damage the nationally important and scarce species and habitats of the Hills.

During the summer months, there is no planned burning on the hills and commons by the Trust.  If you do see a fire, please call 999 immediately.  Early detection can prevent a fire becoming much more dangerous, serious, and uncontrollable wildfire.