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Welcome to the West Wickham Commons Newsletter covering West Wickham Common and Spring Park. FacebookTwitterYouTubeWebsiteEmail
Fire safety is a burning issue on West Wickham Common
Last month firefighters were quick to tackle a blaze that had started on West Wickham Common. A member of the public had alerted us to the fire in the woodland, which quickly grew and posed a threat to the dry heathland habitat. The rapid spread of the fire up the hillside was caused by a combination of exceptionally dry leaflitter and very strong winds. Thankfully the rapid intervention of the fire service prevented any damage to the heathland.
Luckily, the high winds and rain the night after the fire had blown much of the burnt debris away revealing unburnt brown soil; the visual impact and long-term effects of this fire are probably minimal.
Heath fires are at their most devastating during periods of hot and sunny weather when the grass and undergrowth is particularly dry. Fire can travel at astounding speed leading to whole habitats being damaged and the wildlife that live within them. As we head towards the warm summer months where we are most at risk, there are some simple steps to prevent wildfires:
Smoking – If out walking or having a picnic, be sure to dispose of cigarettes and other smoking materials carefully and ensure that they are fully extinguished.
BBQs – Please don’t light any fires or BBQs.
Litter – Please take your litter home with you. Even a discarded glass bottle can start a fire.
What to do if a fire does break out – Call 999 and ask for Fire Service without delay. Keep well away from the fire – heathland fires can spread fast. Only attempt to put it out if you are certain it is safe to do so
Making time to repair
Continuing the theme from last month’s newsletter, the Rangers have been doing more repairs and replacement of fences across Spring Park and West Wickham Common. This time round, fresh fencing has gone up around the pond overflow at Spring Park and the chestnut fence bordering Sparrows Den, which had started to show its age, was repaired with assistance of the returning volunteers. The next task will be continuing one from there and installing paling fencing where contractors have cleared a couple of ash trees afflicted by ash dieback disease.
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The City of London Corporation has seven green spaces in South London and Surrey covered by three charities: Ashtead Common, Coulsdon Commons and West Wickham Commons. Each charity has its own Newsletter and you can now:
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