Forestry England says it has dealt with a number of small fires caused by barbecues and campfires at Savernake Forest in Marlborough, putting it at risk of being destroyed.
The organisation, responsible for managing the nation’s forests, said it had also been handling an increase in anti-social behaviour, including the vandalism of gates, fences and signs. Fly-tipping and littering has also been on the rise there.
An area the size of around 310 football pitches was destroyed in Dorset this month, thought to be a result of people having using disposable barbecues in Wareham Forest.
A spokesperson for Forestry England said: “Our woodlands and Forests are at risk, the continuous warm weather has significantly raised the wildfire threat, just one spark can cause a fire.
“We are asking people to not use BBQs or light fires in our woodlands and to ensure cigarettes are safely extinguished and disposed of responsibly.
“Our colleagues in Wareham Forest, Dorset recently suffered a devastating fire, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service found the remains of 11 disposable barbecues in the area.
“The fire was burning for almost two weeks and destroyed 220 hectares of Forest.
“That’s the equivalent of 310 football pitches, all destroyed in a matter of days by carelessness and taking decades to recover.”
Don't miss out on breaking local 999 news - follow us on Facebook now: