Brambles cleared away after pile was set on fire
Heaps of dead brambles have been cleared from Cherry Orchard Nature Reserve after a pile of them had deliberately been set on fire.
Battenhall resident John Phillpott had seen an argument take place on the site after the blaze had been started.
Mr Phillpott had previously protested against the clearance of the brambles, with television naturalist Chris Packham backing his view that it was ruining an eco-system essential to wildlife.
He said: “I came across a still smouldering bonfire, the result of one of the piles being ignited.
“An altercation was going on between two youths and their respective girlfriends, one couple being the culprits, the other remonstrating with them.
“Naturally, I gave my support to the two young people who seemed to share my concern for the local environment.
“Eventually, the fire-makers agreed to stamp out the flames that were slowly spreading across the ground.
“They then went on their way and, a bit later, I checked myself, stamping out any sparks left remaining. I only hope this was enough.”
Mr Phillpott was concerned that there could be more such fires started, particularly as spring and summer went on.
He was relieved to see the dead brambles had been cleared away after he reported the incident.
He added: “I will only regard this as a victory when the area has fully recovered from what I regard as a needlessly destructive enterprise.
“The ruination of one eco-system to create another clearly never made any sense.
“But, if nothing else, my protests over the last few weeks and subsequent media publicity have at least trained a spotlight on just how fragile is our natural world.
“And last, but not least perhaps, also concentrated the minds of a few of those who make decisions on our behalf.”
John Phillpott at the site before the bramles were cleared