Manchester

Saddleworth Moor barbecue ban welcomed by National Trust

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

A ban on barbecues on moorlands in Greater Manchester devastated by wild fires last summer has been welcomed by the National Trust.

Oldham Council has approved a public space protection order (PSPO) for the moors above the borough and span across Marsden Moor.

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

Anyone flouting the ban could be fined £100.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The National Trust said it was "very supportive" of the order
Image caption Soldiers fought the summer 2018 moorland blaze alongside fire crews

At its peak, the fire near Stalybridge covered an area of 7 sq miles (18 sq km).

The Army was drafted in to help tackle it and homes were evacuated.

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

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

Despite repeated warnings about the risks, there have been several incidents reported of people continuing to take barbecues on to the moors, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The National Trust said it was "very supportive" of the order.

"With a changing climate, the danger of wild and moorland fires is increasing, and we need people to help us prevent fires by being extra careful when out and about, and not bring barbecues on the moorland," said spokesman Craig Best.

Oldham Council deputy leader Arooj Shah said the order, which will be in place for three years, was "greatly welcomed" by residents because the previous fixed penalty notices were not enough of a deterrent.

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