Arson blamed for fire which destroyed 10,000 year old trees

Little Woolden Moss arson
The scene of the Little Woolden Moss arson Credit: Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

It's believed 10,000 year old bog oaks are amongst the casualties of a fire at a nature reserve in Greater Manchester.

The trees had been preserved for thousands of years in Peatland at the Little Woolden Moss in Salford.

Fire and rescue teams from both Irlam and Leigh attended the site last night and are continuing to attempt to control the fire.

Areas of peat are still smouldering and some of the precious bog oaks continue to flame.

Lancashire Wildlife Trust said not only is the fire disastrous for the wildlife that lived in the rare habitat, but healthy peatlands are able to store and absorb carbon from the atmosphere, making them a vital natural resource in the fight against climate change.

Peatlands can store twice as much carbon as rainforests.

Little Woolden Moss arson Credit: Lancashire Wildlife Trust

As recently as 2013, Little Woolden Moss was subject to peat extraction, with huge areas being dug up to provide peat for the horticultural industry, filling the bags of compost and growing the plants that you buy at your local garden centre.