Why Do We Have Fires?
On certain sites, and in certain situations, it is necessary for KHWP to have controlled bonfires to dispose of arisings during the winter months. When we carry out clearance of invasive or overly dominant species to promote the growth of natural species and create more structural diversity, this can create a lot of brash and logs. Where practical, we use the arisings to create habitat piles or dead hedges.
However, if there are excessive amounts of arisings these need to be reduced through the means of fire because the excess materials can inhibit the growth of the ground and shrub flora and new trees or coppice stools. Large amounts of cut brash can be hazardous to site users and it can create significant fire risks in the summer once it has dried out. Some non-native invasive species might also re-root and grow if left on site.
When it is necessary and safe to have a fire, thorough risk assessments and safety measures are put into place.