Green on Durdle Door Ruined by Firework
10:41am 5th November 2011
A fire which damaged protected grassland on cliffs at Durdle Door was caused by an of course firework.
It's thought it will take months for the area the size of a football pitch in the site of special scientific interest to recover.
A rocket let off from a nearby footpath is being blamed.
Dorset Fire and Rescue are sending out the timely message to ask people to think twice about letting off fireworks in the countryside.
'This incident illustrates how unpredictable fireworks can be and how a 'bit of fun' in the countryside can turn into accidental wildfire' commented Maddy Pfaff, Head Ranger for the Lulworth Estate who own and manage 12,000 acres including Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. 'This fire has left an ugly scar on the landscape which is known for its rare flora and vegetation, it will take months, maybe years to fully recover'.
The area was vulnerable due to a dry period, and the flames fuelled by the on-shore wind. It is fortunate that the footpath acted as a firebreak which saved the fire causing further damage to the SSSI grassland below Durdle Door Holiday Park.
'We would like to think that this sends a timely message against the indiscriminate setting off of fireworks anywhere, and particularly in the countryside. Better to play safe and enjoy organised events where safety for people and the environment comes first' advised Maddy.