Fire crews are still tackling large peat bog blaze

Firefighters are still tackling a large fire at Lindow peat bog.

One fire engine from Wilmslow, one fire engine from Poynton and two fire engines from Greater Manchester were called to reports of a fire in the open at Newgate shortly after 3pm on Tuesday, 12th June.

The fire involves a large peat bog, approximately 150 metres by 40 metres, which was well alight.

Firefighters proceeded on foot to the scene and established a water supply. The high volume pump was requested to help with water supply to tackle the fire and the drone was in attendance to assist firefighters.

Firefighters still remain in attendance at the fire. The high volume pump from Congleton is being utilised to pump water to the fire. Numerous jets and beaters are being used by the crews to try and bring the fire under control.

A spokesperson for Poynton Fire Station said "The tactics being employed involve large quantities of water being applied to extinguish the fire that is deep seated within the peat. The fire on the surface is spreading from below. Therefore main jets are in use. We have many resources on scene to assist with the incident."

This is the fourth fire at Lindow Peat bog this month.

Fire crews were called to deal with two peat bog fires on Sunday, 3rd June - the first of which occurred just before 7am with a second incident just after 1.30pm

Then on Monday, 11th June, firefighters were called to Newgate just before 9am where they found a few different seats of smoke on the bog and used beaters and a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

Update: 1.30pm Wednesday, 13th June.

Two fire engines are in attendance at the large peat bog fire on Newgate in Wilmslow. One main jet is being used to try and put out the fire.

Update: Thursday 14th June

Overnight the incident was reduced to one pump who checked for hotspots and used a hose reel jet on any they found. Crews are still at the scene, monitoring it with a thermal imaging camera.

Update: 3:30pm Thursday 14th June - the incident has now concluded and firefighters have left the scene.

Photo credit @WilmslowFS. 

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Anthony Evans
Tuesday 12th June 2018 at 6:29 pm
In 2003 conditions were published to allow the extraction of peat to continue.
Condition 11 was for a settling pond and condition 12 was for a sluice control structure. Between the enforcement officer and the extractor it was decided not to do this work and as a consequence the ditches were dug deeper and deeper, dramatically lowering the water table until the peat that remains is almost totally dried out.
Condition 31 said no sand shall be dug, disturbed or removed but even this was ignored, allowing the water to drain even faster.
CEC have presided over a complete shambles and are fully aware of this as Saltersley Common Preservation Society have been pointing out for years. The residents of Wilmslow are now paying the price. One wonders how much todays firefighting excercise will cost us.
Carol Shawcross
Tuesday 12th June 2018 at 9:50 pm
Surely this has happened due to the incompetence of CEC who were supposed to inspect this area on a regular basis - with special emphasis to protect the endangered water vole population!
The special habit where these animals once thrived has been trashed by our own councillors!
Disgusting.
Anthony Evans
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 9:52 am
Yet another ignored condition Carol. Condition 51 called for a Water Vole Protection Scheme which, though produced, was never enforced. Despite SCPS producing a survey by Derek Gow, CEC chose to totally ignore it.
As Derek said some years ago, he has never seen a site 'so comprehensively trashed'.
We are now paying for CEC's policies.
Alan Brough
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 9:54 am
I'm surprised that no mention is made of the fact that this is the third incident that Fire Crews have been called to at Lindow Moss in a week.

There is clearly some significant risk posed by the combination of dry weather and the failure by CE Council to manage the area in a fit and proper manner as per the conditions described by Anthony Evans above.

The area is a much-used recreation space for local children, ramblers, joggers and nature lovers and it would therefore seem appropriate that urgent enquiries are made into the cause of these fires and the likelihood of further incidents.

Perhaps our Ward Councillor might like to comment?
Brenda Acton
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 9:57 am
I agree strongly with all Tony's comments. Twice already this summer fire crews have been called out to minor fires on The Moss - this incident has been predicted by us locals for a long time.
My questions - why cannot the peat bogs be declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest as the Common has been? There are a lot more species of rare flora and fauna on the bogs than on the common -or at least, there were.
Is it due to our councillors being worried about having to pay Croghan Peat (the current owners - how come such an important ecological area is allowed to belong to private enterprise?)compensation for recinding mineral rights granted in the last century?
If Croghan Peat are regularly monitoring the level of the water table, as agreed, how come the access points are so over grown as to be no longer visible?
Google Croghan Peat or the Lindow Moss website for further information .
Sheila Hallas
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 4:10 pm
No Councillors have commented I note. Too ashamed?
I think the fire service should have stayed to monitor originally.
Peat will burn underground and reappear.
It is not just the loss of valuable habitat, supposedly protected, or the considerable damage to property and businesses that is of great concern, but the cowardice of authorities who do nothing.
Yes it should be an SSI, if Croghan Peat “restore” their depredations, but “restore” is not doable is it.
Carol Shawcross
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 6:30 pm
If a member of the public had trashed an SSI site to such an extent then surely that person would be held accountable and sued. Afterall CEC were legally bound to protect this special site. Will such action be taken against CEC ? I doubt it.
I understand that as part of the local plan passed in 2017 CEC want to turn the current bridle track “Rotherwood Road” into a tarmacked feeder road all the way from Morley Green into the previous “green belt land” at Stormy Point / Upcast Lane. So I guess CEC have no interest in preserving this area and perhaps this is precisely why they are turning a blind eye!
Please somebody correct me if I have been misinformed?
David Probert
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 6:58 pm
The fire on the peat bogs - in fact repeated call outs to fires - is an environmental disaster that could easily have been avoided had CEC met its statutory responsibilities in enforcing its own commitment regarding the monitoring and overseeing of this important site - the site where Lindow Man, currently on display in the British Museum, was discovered.

The reality is that reckless industrial exploitation of this precious site ought to have been ended by intervention years ago. However, all those who ought to have taken up the issues - including George Osborne, the former local MP - washed their hands of any responsibility passing it back to the site owners and the local authority.

Now we have a predicted environmental tragedy that could have been easily avoided.

So who is responsible? Which individuals - for this act of gross dereliction and negligence? Does responsibility for allowing the degradation of the site just disappear down the bureaucratic corridors of Cheshire East? Clear explanations and recognition of responsibility should follow.

We might also ask ourselves if anyone gains from this act of wanton destruction by neglect of an important wildlife habitat, which coincidentally stands in the way of proposed future development?
Carol Shawcross
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 7:15 pm
We need to get a group of
like-minded individuals together in order to protect this area before it’s completely destroyed and has a road running alongside it - thus feeding the planned new development of 450 houses on previous Greenbelt land (at Upcast Lane) which undoubtedly has similar species living there.
Who is interested?
Angela McPake
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 7:44 pm
There is already a group trying to protect the site, in the shape of the Saltersley Preservation Society, chaired by Anthony Evans (above). I have never met anyone who knows more about the site.

It is also worth noting that there are houses all around the site showing clear signs of damage, which local residents are clear, is down to the peat extraction.
Diane Walker
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 9:18 pm
Totally agree with the comments regarding CEC. Clearly totally incompetent with, I suspect, ulterior motives for turning a blind eye. Not the first time CEC have been seen to be incompetent. How much more do we have to put up with before this Council of ours is taken to task? I for one would be more than happy to join a group to protect this area. Forgive my ignorance Angela, I did not know of the Saltersley Preservation Society.
Carol Shawcross
Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 10:47 pm
Thank you I will now make contact with this group and hope sincerely that it’s not too late to save this site of special scientific interest!!
CEC should be ashamed of themselves!
Pippa Jones
Thursday 14th June 2018 at 11:20 am
Transition Wilmslow has also been trying to raise awareness of the very precarious state of Lindow Moss for a number of years; details and documents (together with some wonderful photographs) are on the Lindow Moss page of our website https://transitionwilmslow.co.uk/lindow-moss/)

We held a multidisciplinary workshop detailing not only the important ecological heritage of the Moss, but also its unique archeological and historical importance, and a Guild Day School in 2014. We have organised a number of walks, including Dawn Walks in 2014 and 2016 (and another planned for September 2018); guided walks on the Mobberley side of the Moss; and last year we took more than 120 children for guided walks on the Moss to raise awareness of this extraordinary heritage on our doorstep.
We reluctantly supported the planning application in 2016 as we thought it was the only way to see cessation of peat cutting and restoration of the Moss. It seems extraordinary that despite repeated assurances that the planning application was to be considered by CEC it is now more than two years since comments were submitted and as far as we know, the planning application has not yet come to Committee for scrutiny, and it has been difficult to elicit information as to the reasons for this very long delay. Every month restoration is delayed, the Moss becomes dryer and potentially eventually will be desecrated beyond repair. The current fire could be seen as a direct consequence of the endless delays in decision making.
The desecration of the Moss is a disaster, and the current fire makes it worse. Restoration could provide a vital carbon sink to help offset carbon emissions, more biodiversity, a place for people to walk and enjoy the tranquillity and biological richness of the Moss, and learn more about the extraordinary history of this very special place.
It is clear that people in Wilmslow greatly cherish this special landscape. Other Mosses in the UK have been restored successfully. Lindow Moss may be relatively small in comparison to Mosses elsewhere (but is a vital link to other Mosses in the vicinity) but its historical importance as the home of Lindow Man makes it very special. Please, CEC, step up and join us as a community to help us see the way through to the proper restoration of this wonderful landscape. There are a great many people in Wilmslow with knowledge and expertise including ecologists and scientists, members of the Saltersley Moss Preservation Society and Transition Wilmslow, and people who just love this very special place and who would be happy to support a Community initiative to restore the Moss.
Anthony Evans
Thursday 14th June 2018 at 11:26 am
Thank you Angela for that vote of confidence.
If anyone wants to know more you can phone me on 01625 525330.
Failing that, we ran a website until recently under the title Lindowmoss.org.uk where copies of correspondence and other items of interest were posted.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 14th June 2018 at 7:14 pm
Cllr McPake, is there any chance that you might encourage the CEC Ward representatives from your (Conservative) party to respond here?
The elections are looming.
Anthony Evans
Friday 15th June 2018 at 11:29 am
Attn. Pete Taylor
I can say in total honesty and sincerity that in the years SCPS have been trying to get something done about the moss, Councillor Gary Barton has been as much use as a chocolate teapot.
Anthony Evans
Saturday 16th June 2018 at 9:52 am
We have commissioned two hydrologists reports and both say that the sluice and settling ponds must be installed immediately and the artificial drainage pipes blocked. This will allow the site to re-water, a process that will take at least ten years.
As both CCC and CEC decided these were not needed, it would be interesting to hear what they think now. Perhaps our Councillors could find out for us.
Angela McPake
Saturday 16th June 2018 at 11:24 am
Hi Pete,
It is a decision for Gary and Ellie whether they feel they can comment.

I would say that it is extremely challenging to get straight answers from CE Officers on this issue.

The Ombudsman told CE they needed to do a particular mineral survey on this site when it was next due, to assess the damage that has occurred . That survey is due this year and whilst CE have now acknowledged it needs to happen, will not commit to a date. In theory it’s a simple request.
Richard Barraclough
Wednesday 20th June 2018 at 4:46 pm
Croghan Peat should be sent the bill for putting out the fire. This looks like a typical Tory strategy: assume the environment is free; privatise the profits; socialise the costs.

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