Manchester

Saddleworth Moor: Plan to ban barbecues and fireworks

Saddleworth Moor fire Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A large fire broke out near Saddleworth Moor in June 2018

People could be banned from taking barbecues, fireworks and sky lanterns on to moorland in Greater Manchester, under new plans.

Oldham and Tameside councils are looking to introduce Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) on land which straddles both local authorities.

The councils said they want people to enjoy the countryside but "act responsibly".

A large blaze near Saddleworth Moor took three weeks to be put out in 2018.

At its peak, the fire near Stalybridge covered an area of 7 sq miles (18 sq km) of moorland with soldiers drafted in to help tackle it.

Image caption Army personnel fought the fire alongside fire crews

Under the terms of the PSPOs, anyone who breached the orders would face a fixed penalty of £90 or prosecution through the courts.

Failure to pay the fine could lead to prosecution.

Any land that has a public right of way or public access would be included, although there would be exemptions for residential areas.

Each council will run a consultation on the plans from 8 July to 5 August.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Last year's Saddleworth Moor blaze took more than three weeks to be put out

Last summer firefighters in Greater Manchester tackled the blaze at Saddleworth Moor alongside a second blaze on Winter Hill.

Large fires have also broken out in the area this year.

In February, a moorland fire covered about 1.5 sq m of land near Marsden in West Yorkshire.

Blazes also started in Delph near Oldham and on Marsden Moor in April.

Both of these fires were linked to barbecues, according to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Marsden Moor's landowner, the National Trust.

A volunteer patrol team, started by Women's Institute members, has been launched around Dovestone Reservoir and surrounding Saddleworth Moor.

Jessica Moreland, of the group, said people have already been spotted with barbecues.

"There's a great lack of common sense, you don't need to take a barbecue with you," she told BBC Radio Manchester.

Dave Swallow of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said crews had gone to reports of moorland fires, only to find people barbecuing or having camp fires.

Image copyright Tameside/Oldham councils
Image caption Tameside (left) and Oldham councils have released where the PSPOs would cover

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