The RSPB reserve team has now assessed the damage caused by Saturday night’s fire at Neston Reedbed near Parkgate.
About 10 hectares (approx equivalent size of 17 football pitches) of the marsh was burnt in the fire, including all the reedbed vegetation and some areas of saltmarsh vegetation.
While the RSPB is hopeful that the root systems have survived, and that the reeds will grow back over the coming years, there is no chance of wildlife successfully nesting in those areas in the coming months.
A spokesperson for the RSPB said, “It will be a year or two at the earliest before this area can once again support breeding birds like bearded tits, Cetti’s warblers and marsh harriers.”
The RSPB has asked the public to help to give wildlife alternative nesting space on the rest of the estuary by sticking to paths and keeping dogs on short leads and under close control.
The spokesperson continued, “We’d again like to thank the emergency services for their work helping to tackle and investigate the fire, and the local community for the incredible support our team has received in person and on social media.
“We’re also asking that anyone with information that could help with the police investigation contact Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 1226437, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Image: RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands