Gamekeepers praised for efforts fighting wildfires

The recent spell of warm and dry weather has seen an increase in wildfires across the country. Thankfully gamekeepers have been coming to the help of the fire and rescue service, and through their dedicated work have significantly reduced the damage caused.

Gamekeepers are often the first on the ground, and have the skills, resources and expertise to help the firefighters. Their professional work and management of the uplands has been praised across the country by a number of fire and rescue services and local community groups, in private and in the press.

The latest example comes from the assistance given to the RSPB-managed Crowden moor estate in the Peak District. After first raising the alarm, gamekeepers from the neighbouring six estates came to the assistance of the overwhelmed rangers. Their expert training, wildfire knowledge and firefighting equipment helped drastically reduce the size and ferocity of the wildfire. 

Glynn Evans, head of game and gundogs at the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, said: “We are incredibly proud of the gamekeeping community that continually go the extra mile to look after our precious countryside. Without their tireless and significant work this recent spate of wildfires could have caused life threatening damage.

“Wildfires risk lives and property, the work undertaken by our gamekeepers alongside our fantastic fire services is vital to reducing the risk to the public. The importance of their day to day work is not going unnoticed.”

Notes to the Editors:
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) is the UK’s largest shooting organisation, representing the interests of approximately 155,000 members

According to the England and Wale Wildfire Forum just under 40 wildfires over one hectare, the size of a football pitch, have occurred since mid-March.

Peak District Moorland Group account of the Crowden Moor fire

Support in Northumberland – “The swift actions of Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service with support from the local gamekeepers stopped the fire before it reached the trees in Harwood Forest”

Support in North Scotland – Praise for north Sutherland gamekeepers fast action stopped wildfire in its tracks

Support in Peak District – Firefighters have been helped by water company United Utilities and local gamekeepers

Pictures available on request