Dry weather sparks spate of park fires

Grassfires can get out of control quickly (Library picture)
Grassfires can get out of control quickly (Library picture)

Fires during the recent dry spell have caused damage costing thousands of pounds to parks, says North Lanarkshire Council.

Now visitors are being asked to take extra care to prevent further incidents.

A council spokesman said parks in Motherwell, Wishaw and Cumbernauld have been affected, with damage caused to plants, paths and wildlife.

Councillor Michael McPake, convener of the environmental services committee, said: “Our parks are blooming in this fantastic summer weather and visitor numbers are increasing, but this has also led to fires caused by vandalism or litter being dropped.

“The hot sun can easily cause dropped cigarettes or matches to ignite and fire spreads very quickly in the dry grass and woodland. Even a piece of glass can cause a fire.

“The effect can be devastating on the landscape within parks as well as to the wildlife, with young birds and animals trapped by fire or hurt by smoke inhalation. It can also create danger for people visiting parks or walking in the countryside.

“So we are appealing to residents to be particularly careful through the summer not to drop litter and to report any antisocial or suspicious behaviour to Police Scotland.

“Please help us to protect our wonderful parks and green spaces for everyone to enjoy.”

Thomas Saveall won the Project Spotlight Volunteer award at the Citizens Advice Scotland conference. He was presented with a silver Quaich by HRH Princess Anne. Picture - Stewart Attwood''''All images � Stewart Attwood Photography 2019.  All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission. No Syndication Permitted.

Taylor Wimpey have confirmed directly with local Councillor Nathan Wilson that the organisation retains its commitment to building a park and ride at Shieldmuir Train Station. In response to recent enquiries made by Councillor Wilson, Taylor Wimpey have advised that engagement is taking place with Network Rail over the latter’s approval procedures and that once this process is complete, work will be able to begin on site. The developer has informed the Motherwell Councillor that during the period of investigation undertaken since the commencement of building work was delayed in January 2018, an unrecorded service chamber has been discovered on site. The project cannot move forward until further clarification is provided on the nature of the service chamber and Taylor Wimpey are in the process of commissioning a contractor to assess the situation. The developer’s initial judgement is that this is likely a redundant service. A senior representative of the organisation has also informed Councillor Wilson that a member of the Taylor Wimpey production team will be sent out to inspect the vacant land following a request he made at the beginning of 2019 for maintenance work to be carried out on site should construction of the park and ride remain some time away. Councillor Nathan Wilson said: “Taylor Wimpey have communicated to me directly that the park and ride facility is a project that the organisation remains committed to delivering. “However, it goes without saying that the lengthy delay is still very disappointing and frustrating. “An unrecorded service chamber has been identified on site and progress is unable to be made until this has been investigated. “Taylor Wimpey have relayed to me that an on-site inspection of the vacant land will take place and I hold to the view that maintenance work should be carried out in the short term to improve it’s current condition. “I will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders and re-inforce to them the importance of the park and ride project locally. Motherwell and Wishaw CAB takes home 40 per cent of the prizes