Posted: Thu 13th Jul 2023

The threat of wildfires and illegal off-roading in spotlight on Halkyn Mountain

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jul 13th, 2023

The threat of wildfires and illegal off-roading will come into focus at a key Flintshire upland this weekend.

Organisations from across North Wales will assemble this weekend to emphasise the importance of protecting some of our most iconic upland landscapes.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) officers will collaborate with the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and North Wales Police on 15-16 July.

Their aim is to engage with members of the public on Halkyn Mountain, as well as Ruabon, Llantysilio Mountains, and Minera Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) as part of the arson prevention and illegal off-roading campaigns.

Wildfire is a growing problem across Wales and is officially recognised as a significant UK hazard. This is reflected in its inclusion in the National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies.

Upland wildfires can be caused by discarded cigarettes or the use of disposable barbecues, deliberate arson, and discarded glass/bottles which can intensify the heat of the sun. Poorly managed land practices such as uncontrolled prescribed moor burning, or burning brash too close to moorland vegetation, can also contribute.

Illegal off-roading can jeopardise both people and nature. The costs for subsequent clean-up and restoration efforts are substantial, and the damage to nationally important and protected sites can be devastating.

Rhys Ellis, NRW Environment Team Leader, said:

“Wildfires and illegal off-roading in the uplands are a monumental danger to people, wildlife, and our environment.”

“The increasing temperatures and prolonged dry spells caused by the climate emergency have resulted in a heightened wildfire risk. Therefore, any arson only amplifies the potential impact on the public and wildlife.”

“By collaborating with our public services and engaging with the public, we hope to educate them about the dangers of wildfires and illegal off-roading in our uplands and the threats they pose to our environment.”

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