Beeley Moor fire wipes out wild birds

Footage was captured by passer-by James McKay

Rangers from Derbyshire's Peak District National Park Authority say the nests and chicks of many wild birds have been wiped out by a moorland fire.

Crews from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue were called to Beeley Moor at about 21:00 BST on Saturday where a 150m-wide stretch of heathland was on fire.

It took crews about 12 hours to put out the blaze.

Andy Farmer from the authority said a discarded cigarette may have started the fire.

"One might suggest it was a casual cigarette, just tossed out of a car window into the grassland [that started the fire]," said Mr Farmer.

"It was a bit breezy on Saturday night and if the fire catches, it will take out the moorland."

Mr Farmer added May was a "crucial time" for some of the moorland's wild birds and it was unlikely many of them survived.

"The difficulty we have with any fire at this time of year is that the ground-nesting birds will have just had their chicks.

"Any fire that moves as quickly as this one, will have killed those chicks," he said.

The park authority urged people to take care with barbecues, cigarettes and any other naked flames when out and about in the Peak District.

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