Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Highfield Moss, Lowton on Fire

I was doing some long overdue birding on Highfield Moss in Lowton today this afternoon when I noticed that a section of the moss was on fire.

When I first walked on to the Moss I noticed quite a large area that had previously been burnt but it wasn't on fire. But on my way back the flames were rising quite high as you can see from these hurriedly-taken photographs. At first I thought it might have been land management but as I couldn't see anyone else about, I assumed it must have been spontaneous.

I called 999 and in spite of being put through to the Merseyside division of the Fire Brigade, the appliance arrived in about 15 minutes. It had to turn back though when it approached the railway line from Newton Road and obviously couldn't get across - I don't know where they went next, perhaps down Winwick Lane.

I also texted Ian McKerchar, a local birding expert and fireman as it happens, as I thought he might know of some lesser known path for them to get the vehicles there, as it seemed pretty inaccessible to me.

Talking to a local on my way out, he said the area had been on fire last night too, and Ian says the ground can remain smouldering under the surface without actually being on fire - perhaps the hot weather was all it needed to get going again.

Apart from that there wasn't too much about (earlier) but I did see some Willow Warblers singing away, Reed Buntings, a Linnet, a Kestrel, some Skylarks and the usual Crows, Tits and Pigeons.

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