We are coming up to that time of year when unfortunately, we often see fires raging on our common lands.
We are particularly concerned about deliberately set grass fires, which cause a risk to life for humans, animals and wildlife. When fires are set too late in the season, they cause a particular threat to wildlife such as reptiles and nesting birds. This horrendous photo was taken after a particularly damaging deliberate grass fire at Coity Wallia Commons. In the aftermath of this, 23 dead slow worms, 1 dead adder, many birds’ nests, small mammal nests and 1 dead common shrew were found in the burnt area.
Grazing is a tool that we can use to help reduce the risk of fires on common lands. Appropriate grazing reduces the amount of vegetation available to burn, through both consumption and trampling of vegetation into the ground. It also creates gaps in the vegetation to act as fire breaks.
PONT is keen to raise awareness of the importance of grazing for reducing the risk of grass fires and therefore the threat to livestock, wildlife and also soils, water and other ecosystem services.
You can learn more about how PONT teamed up with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to tackle deliberate grass fires here.