Fires Damage Ancient Woodland

More than 30 firefighters have spent the night tackling the second blaze in 24 hours at an area of ancient woodland near Canterbury in Kent.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called out to Thornden Wood at 20.30 BST on Saturday, where 10 hectares of woodland was alight.

Firefighters remained on the scene on Sunday to put out any hot spots.

It follows a fire at nearby Blean Woods on Saturday morning. The blazes are the latest in a series of outdoor fires.


The spring drought has caused quite a few issues with respect to reptiles and amphibians. Some great crested newt breeding ponds have dried up resulting in a complete breeding failure for the affected populations. 



The dry conditions have also significantly decreased slow-worm activity on several survey sites. The BBC story is the first report of a significant fire in Kent that I am aware of. Reptiles and amphibians move relatively slowly and fires can devastate populations, particularly in our fragmented countryside where populations are becoming increasingly isolated.

Another recent BBC story highlighted just how dry the soils of SE England have become. Let's all hope we get some significant rainfall soon...