Cheviot Futures

United in a Changing Landscape

Wildfire Water Resource Pond

Breamish Valley, Northumberland

Northumberland National Park and surrounding areas have many treasured landscapes
and special qualities, particularly the rolling moors and grasslands of the
Cheviot Hills, including internationally important peat bogs and moorlands.
As the landscape we know and love is the product of many years of interaction between
land and people it is important that we work with farmers and landowners to
maintain sustainable and viable businesses, whilst also ensuring the environment is
managed positively.
Although we cannot be certain of the future, climate change predictions show that
Northumberland National Park can expect warmer wetter winters, hotter drier
summers, with an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events. The predicted
changes have complex impacts on moorland wildfire however, more summer
droughts will result in more frequent wildfires, like those in 2003 where there were
1,000 wildfires a day in April in comparison to 35 per day in December, which was
due to drought conditions. Warmer wetter winters could increase fuel accumulation
if, as a consequence, there are fewer suitable days for controlled burning activities
(i). This information indicates that the likelihood of increased numbers and intensity
of wildfires are probable in the future. As such it is essential that we try and
manage the issue before it occurs, hence the building of a pond to act as a water
resource, which can be used by high velocity pumps and helicopter buckets, for
wildfire incidents in the Cheviot Hills.

For more information please see the case study below.

The Wildfire 2011 Conference papers are available here