The Purbeck Heaths NNR Swaling Team, along with colleagues from the Urban Heaths Partnership, Exeter University and Birmingham University, has been doing some prescribed burning and data gathering on some of our Dorset heathland.
This targeted and controlled burning is used to regenerate the heathland habitat, creating a mosaic of varying vegetation which benefits many of our most precious wildlife. It also provides the opportunity for the partners to gain experience in managing and understanding heathland fires, invaluable for wildfire mitigation and prevention.
Burning the heathland may look counter-productive, but it’s very carefully managed and used to burn specific areas of older vegetation to promote new growth and reduce the fuel load of specific areas. This in turn creates a far more resilient habitat all round and helps to avoid catastrophic incidents like the recent Wareham Forest Fire.