Significance of major moorland fires
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): J. Radley
Publication Year: 1965

Cataloging Information

  • catastrophic fires
  • cover
  • England
  • erosion
  • fire dependent species
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • geology
  • ground cover
  • hydrology
  • mosses
  • peat
  • peat bogs
  • peatlands
  • prehistoric fires
  • regeneration
  • runoff
  • sphagnum
  • trees
  • water
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 39147
Tall Timbers Record Number: 13780
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


From the text:'The peat in many parts of Britain is being severly eroded by subaerial forces, but the fire provides a method of erosion not previously emphasized. It removes whole tracts of peat and plant cover in a matter of days and permits intensive erosion for several years. Eventually the area is 're-vegetated' and the area usually resumes its previous appearance. However, where run-off and present-day erosion rates are used to establish the age of valleys, as in the case of Young's study of the Strines area, great care must be taken to ascertain whether the area has been burnt; if it has, the rate of erosion might have been far from constant. The rate at which plant life recolonizes the burnt moors varies, but even on the 1959 burnt area the scars of firing are quickly being concealed. The removal of the acid peat should help the proposed afforestation of Big Moor, and it seems possible that it will permit more trees to grow on moors protected by water authorities from browsing animals and further fires; already there is a considerable growth of birch and willows on parts of Ramsley Moor which is now owned by Chesterfield Water Board. While general texts scarcely mention the effects of major fires on the moors, it seems probable that the vegetation of the southern Pennine moors and elsewhere is, in part, pyrogenic, and it is equally probable that the role of the fire will increase in importance, now that more and more moors are being opened to the public and week-end car exursions to the moors continue to increase in popularity.'

Radley, J. 1965. Significance of major moorland fires. Nature, v. 205, no. 4976, p. 1254-1259.