People urged not to visit the Peak District this Easter weekend due to increased wildfire risk

Gamekeepers and moorland managers have appealed for the general public to stay away from the Peak District moors and uplands over the Easter weekend.

By Kyle wilson
Friday, 10th April 2020, 6:00 am

The unseasonably warm weather conditions currently being experienced have dried out the uplands - greatly increasing the chance of wildfires across the Peak District.

There has already been a spate of wildfires across England in the last month diverting the attention and resources of the emergency services away from battling the coronavirus.

The combination of weather conditions, concerns about smoke from burning complicating respiratory issues linked to Covid-19 and ongoing pressures on emergency services has led moorland managers to suspend any planned controlled burning.

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People are being encouraged not to visit the moorlands and Peak District over the Easter weekend.

Fortunately, gamekeepers and other moorland managers are stepping up their efforts during this time of national crisis and have readied specialist equipment and are experienced to fight in the front line against wildfires.

Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association, said: “Our members are committed to doing their bit. It is vital we still have boots on the ground - keeping a keen eye out for wildfires and being the rapid response to any that break out.

“There have already been several near misses over the past month – where the quick actions of local gamekeepers have prevented any wildfires from spreading.

“It is essential that members of the public follow government instructions and stay at home and away from the moors over the Easter weekend.

“Our hard-pressed emergency services are needed to save lives not tackle wildfires or deal with people flouting both Covid-19 restrictions and the law by dumping rubbish.”