A reminder of how quickly fire can spread on the Commons

On Saturday 8th April, we were called by a member of the public to advise that there was a small fire on the grassland alongside Memorial Ride, not too far from Wimbledon Village.   Although our staff were on site quickly, the video below shows how quickly the fire spread. Fortunately, the Fire Brigade had already been called and were able to quickly bring the fire under control but, despite this, it covered a wide area and destroyed an Oak tree that had to be felled.  

The recent spell of warm weather and lack of rain over the last few weeks has meant that the  grassland has dried out quickly and can easily catch - one of the reason we do not permit BBQs anywhere on the Commons.   Along with the damage to the grassland and the nasty scar it leaves, potentially it will have affected the wildlife too - nesting birds and, in this particular area we know there to be lizards, along with all the important insects and other wildlife that we don't often see but are so important to the ecology of the site. 

Please also be careful if you smoke whilst walking on the Commons and if you do discard your cigarette - make sure it is completely out. 

If you do see any smoke or suspect a danger of a fire, please do call the Ranger's Office on 020 8788 7655 immediately.