UK heatwave: BBC Springwatch reserve wildfire 'hit home personally', says Chris Packham

Chris Packham said the fire at Wild Ken Hill had "hit home personally".
Credit: PA / @awprco
Chris Packham said the fire at Wild Ken Hill had "hit home personally". Credit: PA / @awprco

TV presenter and conservationist Chris Packham said a wildfire at the site of the BBC Springwatch programme he presents has "hit home personally" .

Wild Ken Hill in Norfolk, the nature reserve and working farm where the seasonal wildlife programme has been based since last year, was ravaged by fire on the UK's hottest day on record.

It was one of nearly 300 incidents dealt with by the county's fire service on a day on which it received more than 4,600 calls.

The coastal reserve was home to more than 2,500 species, a number managers fear has now been severely reduced.

Mr Packham said so much hard work by the conservationists was being undone "by global madness".

Writing on Twitter, he said his thoughts were with those at Wild Ken Hill adding: "We've got to learn from this."

The fire at Wild Ken Hill started during the hottest day ever recorded Credit: ITV Anglia

Sara Kedge is from the nearby Island Camping Club. She said: "Behind the beach, where the fire actually was, there are lots of ground nesting birds.

"On the beach there are protected birds like ring-necked plovers and the fire has put all those really valuable nests at risk ."

The fire at Wild Ken Hill was one of dozens in Norfolk and Suffolk during the record-breaking temperatures on Tuesday, which led both fire services to declare a major incident.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said on Tuesday evening that "all appliances are either committed to ongoing incidents or have been alerted to a state of stand-by for incoming calls".

Interim chief fire officer Tim Edwards praised the "professionalism, commitment and sheer dedication" of firefighters.

He wrote on Twitter that the "devastation and loss experienced by so many" was "not forgotten".

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