As has been widely reported during the recent heatwaves, there has been a big increase in wildfires around the country, and unfortunately this has included the Rowley Hills. Last month, a large area of felled trees on Portway Hill at the end of St Brades Close caught fire. These trees had been left by contractors who felled them in 2021, and despite the risk (not to mention the right of way that had become blocked by the trees) had not returned to remove them. The contractors were acting on behalf of the owner of that parcel of land.
Fortunately the fire was brought quickly under control by the fire service before it could spread to the nearby houses. Had the fire spread to the fences along the back of the houses where the trees had been cut down and just left in situ, and got a hold, the consequences could have been much worse. Following the fire, contractors are chipping the felled trees so the area will be much safer in the future. The Friends of Rowley Hills will be able to use the chippings to spread along the paths later this year.
Although we’ve since had some wet weather, further warm, dry conditions are forecast over the next week so if you’re out and about in the Rowley Hills and see anything that looks like a fire risk, you can report it. It goes without saying, please don’t use barbecues in the hills or discard lit cigarette butts. Thankyou!