Fire destroys large area of rare Studland heathland habitat

Firefighters from across Dorset, including Swanage and Wareham crews are battling a blaze that has spread quickly across internationally important Studland heathland in Dorset.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue received a call at 8.26 pm on Tuesday 30th November 2021 from a member of the public who could see a lot of smoke coming from Studland Heath.

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Crews from Swanage, Westbourne, Poole, Christchurch, Hamworthy and Wimborne along with Land Rover pumps from Swanage, Poole, Hamworthy and Bere Regis, the Unimog from Wareham and a water carrier also from Poole are currently in attendance.

Studland Fire
Nick Boulter
Studland Fire
Galaxy Thief
Studland Fire
Amelia Coffen

“Driven by strong winds

A spokesperson from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said:

“The latest information states it’s a large heath fire consisting of several hundred metres and that it’s being driven by strong winds.

“Our crews put in a fire break to protect neighbouring properties and are making good progress with the main fire front now extinguished but there are still several smaller gorse fires still alight around the fire ground.

“Numerous hose reel jets are being used with the water carrier and Unimog being used to shuttle water and prevent fire spread.”

Studland Fire
Amelia Coffen
Studland Fire
Amelia Coffen
Studland Fire
Amelia Coffen

Spotted the red glow of the blaze

Local resident Amelia Coffen was driving home with her family when she spotted the red glow of the blaze and stopped in the New Road viewpoint layby, which overlooks Studland and Poole Harbour.

She was able to film the fire and capture how far the fire had spread.

Studland Fire
Amelia Coffen
Studland Fire from ferry
Nick Boulter
Studland Heath fire
Galaxy Thief

Site of Special Scientific Interest

The environmentally important lowland heath at Studland is managed by the National Trust as a designated National Nature Reserve.

It’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with a wide range of habitats including many endangered species. All six species of native British reptile are found on the heathland, including the rare sand lizard and smooth snake.

Watch the video by Amelia Coffen

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