Described as the most significant act of fly-tipping on Dorset Wildlife Trust nature reserves this year, an incredible 60 bags of rubbish were dumped and then set alight at Powerstock Common nature reserve in Dorchester, on Wednesday evening, 18 November.
The fire was dealt with and the surrounding area made safe by a crew from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Rescue Service.
Group manager Richard Coleman, of Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said, “Any fire in the countryside has the potential to be devastating, particularly on nature reserves and areas rich with wildlife. You only have to look at the impact of incidents like the one in Wareham Forest earlier this year to see how quickly a small fire can spread and the damage it can cause. If you see a fire in the open, please call 999 immediately.”
Dorset Wildlife Trust chief executive, Brian Bleese, said, “This is the worst case of fly tipping we have seen on our nature reserves in a long time. This senseless act of vandalism not only makes this wonderful nature reserve unsightly and unattractive to visitors, it is also a major drain on our resources to clear up, could be costly to remove, and, most concerning of all, poses a real threat to wildlife.”
The rich habitat of wet, damp and dry land at Powerstock Common encourages a varied mix of plants and animals. Not only is it one of the best places to see butterflies such as the marbled white and marsh fritillary, attracted by the number and variety of flowers, it is also home to an array of birds, including the willow warbler, chiff chaff and, deeper into the woods, the great spotted woodpecker.
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