Darwen Moors Fires

Recently Darwen Rotary along with the Salvation Army has been helping to provide refreshments for the firefighters and workers helping to extinguish the terrible fires on the moors of Darwen.

These hardworking and brave individuals have tried their utmost to help preserve this valuable outdoor area for both humans and wildlife. Sadly it is the thoughtlessness of the former that has helped to destroy the latter.

BBC Radio Lancashire report on the fires (video)

A spokesman for the landowners have provided an estimate of the damage done to the area which is reproduced below.

Many years ago ordinary people fought a hard battle to obtain the freedom of the moors so it is incumbent upon us to preserve this right and to respect their work by not taking combustible items such as disposable barbeques into areas that are susceptible to fire. The damage caused takes years to repair. Please be careful in your use of the privileges earned by our forebearrs and the hard work being carried out to restore the moors to a pristine condition for future generations.

  • 2 Breeding Pairs Short Eared Owls and 8 chicks
  • 5 breeding Pairs Golden Plover and 15 chicks
  • 6 Breeding Pairs Curlew and18 Chicks
  • 70 Breeding Pairs Red Grouse and 270+ Chicks
  • 1 Breeding Pairs Snipe and 3 Chicks
  • 160 Breeding Pairs Meadow Pipit and 800+ Chicks
  • 45 Breeding Pairs Skylark and 225+ Chicks

A mix of Linnet, Stonecat, Reed Bunting, Grasshopper Warbler, Willow Warbler. Thousands of mammals, amphibians and snakes.

Also lost a full year of planting of Cowberry, Crowberry, Dwarf Cornell, Bog Myrtle, Cross Leaved heath, sphagnum moss and other varieties to help restore the moor.

The aim of the conservation work on the moors is carbon sequestration by the creation of peat from the mix of heather/moss/whinberry mix.

The wildfire has released into the air approximately 52 tons of carbon per hectare. About 250 hectares (620 acres) has been lost but probably more. So a minimum of 30,000 tons of carbon has been released into the atmosphere.

Darwen Rotary has been working closely with the persons who are in charge of restoring the Darwen moors following the recent devastating fires which has destroyed much of the flora and fauna. They have assured us that sufficient funds are available to pay for this work and have suggested that if people wish to make a donation to help they could direct those funds to the Darwen Rotary Tower Restoration Fund. These can be made to our Just Giving page:- https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/john-jacklin?utm_medium=email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20200603_1147

The Tower is sited in the midst of the devastated moor and the two complement each other providing a marvellous place to visit to admire the views and exercise the limbs and enjoy a picnic. (No barbeques please and take your rubbish home.)

It would be a fantastic achievement if we can raise the funds to restore the Tower and in a couple of years have a grand re-opening connected with the restoration of the Moors.

We owe it to our forebears who fought so hard for the Freedom of the Moors and the building of our iconic landmark.

Thank you

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