Moor blazes destroy rare birds’ homes

Dramatic pictures: the wildfire that ravaged Ovenden Moor last week, taken by Natural England's Dave Key
Dramatic pictures: the wildfire that ravaged Ovenden Moor last week, taken by Natural England's Dave Key
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RARE birds have had to flee Calderdale after their nests were destroyed by savage moor fires.

Nature experts say several breeds have left the district because of the blazes over the last few weeks.

They say the birds are unlikely to return this season.

Calderdale Police’s wildlife officer Special Constable Phil Sanderson said; “The moorland environment is particularly fragile at the moment and if you see a fire please report it to the fire service.

“A number of rare or scarce birds such as red grouse and curlews have had their nests destroyed by the flames and the adult birds flown away. It is unlikely they will re nest this season.”

Moor visitors are being urged to take extra care after several fires including two last week.

A blaze broke out at Ovenden Moor near Wainstalls, Halifax, last Saturday and another wildfire started off Cragg Road in Cragg Vale last Monday.

Advice includes never throw lighted cigarette ends out of the window of vehicles or trains, clear up and take rubbish home after picnics and never be tempted to light a fire in the countryside and only barbecue in authorised areas.

l Two teenage boys - aged 15 and 16 - have been arrested on suspicion of arson by police investigating the fire on Ovenden Moor in Halifax.

They were being questioned by Halifax police on Friday.