Natural Resources Wales appeal for help after spate of fires at protected site in Flintshire
Fires are believed to have been started deliberately on common land between Halkyn and Brynford which is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
The area is home to rare grasslands and heathlands where species such as the great crested newt and other amphibians, are protected by European law.
Several fires have been started around Halkyn Mountain during April, Natural Resources Wales say anyone caught starting a fire on an SSSI without consent could be fined up to £20,000.
Anthony Randles, Natural Resource Management Team Leader Wrexham and Flintshire said:
“Halkyn Mountain is one of many sites we look after across Wales, where people can enjoy the beauty of our natural environment right on their doorstep.
“And the area provides a home to a rich, diverse and valuable range of wildlife.
“Fires are particularly damaging in spring because they harm nesting birds and other wildlife that thrive there this time of the year, such as butterflies, newts and snakes.”
“Uncontrolled wild fires can cause temporary loss of habitat and wildlife, while repeated burning can also damage the land for agriculture as well as conservation.”
Kevin Jones, Business Education and Arson Reduction Team Manager at North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“It is extremely disheartening to find that such incidents have been ignited deliberately.
“Deliberate fires place tremendous pressure on resources, with our crews tied up for a considerable length of time trying to bring them under control – which in turn delays firefighters from attending life threatening incidents.
“The potential for serious damage to our environment, often in sensitive areas, by the impact of countryside fires is a serious concern.”
Anyone with information on such crimes is advised to anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or contact 101.
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