Help prevent wildfires on our nature reserves

16 April 2021

NatureScot is advising people enjoying the great outdoors on National Nature Reserves this weekend to be aware of the risk of fire.

Scottish Fire and Rescue has warned of a very high to extreme risk of wildfire across North-East, East and Central Scotland and an extreme risk of fire across Western Scotland until Saturday, April 17.

With the easing of travel restrictions from Friday, visitors to Scotland’s outdoors are asked to not light fires and take care with cigarettes and disposable barbeques.

Stewart Pritchard, Nature Reserves Senior Adviser with NatureScot, said: “After what has been an incredibly difficult year for everyone, it is great news that people will once again be able to travel to enjoy our great outdoors and we’re looking forward to welcoming people back to our beautiful National Nature Reserves.

“We want people to enjoy their visits but with extreme wildfire warnings in place it’s vital to bear in mind that fires spread quickly in these conditions and devastate nature and wildlife.

“The Scottish Outdoor Access Code states never to light open fires in these conditions as fires that get out of control cause major damage. We would also urge people to be extremely cautious when disposing of cigarettes – even a cigarette butt can easily start a wildfire.

“One of the biggest risks is disposable barbecues. These should be left to cool and taken away and disposed of safely along with all other rubbish. You may think the barbecue is no longer a risk, but the lingering heat could cause vegetation to smoulder and catch fire.

“When out and about this weekend please follow the code and respect, protect and enjoy our wonderful countryside.”