Livestock killed and fires risked at Warwickshire country park - The Leamington Observer
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18th Aug, 2022

Livestock killed and fires risked at Warwickshire country park

PARK rangers have pleaded with residents to respect Warwickshire’s country parks after visitors killed livestock by driving off-track, and risked starting fires by lighting barbecues.

During the heatwave, a large number of barbecues were reported at Burton Dassett Hills and other Country Parks, creating a fire risk to both the public and wildlife.

Although barbecues are prohibited at all of Warwickshire’s country parks, park rangers have highlighted the increased risks during hot and dry spells, pointing to recent fires at country parks in Nuneaton and Birmingham as examples of what can go wrong.

And at least three sheep have been hit and killed by cars driving across the grass at Burton Dassett so far this year.

More people have been driving off-track at the park during the good weather – with one lamb killed last week while it was recovering from an earlier collision.

Litter is also on the increase at Burton Dassett, with bins overflowing with food packaging and barbecue waste in the morning despite being emptied every evening, and picnic debris being discarded by benches or on the ground. Last week a litter bin, added temporarily to cope with the increased demand, was thrown down a hill, leaving a huge amount of work for rangers the following morning.

With the school summer holidays underway, rangers are asking all those who visit Burton Dassett Hills to be aware of fire risks, take their litter home with them, and avoid driving away from surfaced and signposted roads.

Craig Earl, Senior Countryside Ranger at Warwickshire Country Parks, said: “’Unfortunately the current elevated levels of litter arising from evening use – and occasional misuse – of the site is posing significant ongoing challenges.

“Visitors can really help us with this by taking litter home wherever possible. We urge everyone to leave the park as they would wish to find it. It’s a fantastic site, and we want everyone who comes to enjoy a litter-free visit.”

Anyone who witnesses any disruptive behaviour at Warwickshire country parks is asked to contact a park ranger on 07900 821 867, or call the Police on 101.

Visit www.countryparks.warwickshire.gov.uk for more information about Warwickshire’s Country Parks.

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