I find it incomprehensible that someone would deliberately set fire to moorland and cause the kind of devastation we’ve witnessed in Yorkshire over the last two weeks. Two teenagers have been arrested over starting fires near Halifax and I hope, but doubt, that if they are found guilty the book will be thrown at them. Accidents happen and nature can lend a hand when conditions are as tinder dry as they have been, but most fires can be avoided by the use of common sense. On Bank Holiday Monday last week I took a stroll around Ingleborough Nature Reserve. On the path which leads to  Ingleborough, just a few hundred yards from where I parked the car, I came across a burning cigarette end. There was no one in front of or behind me so it could well have been smouldering for quite a while in the warm conditions. Okay it is unlikely that a fire would have spread on this well trodden meadow but it’s an example of the carelessness of some people. The views that day over Chapel-le-Dale to Whernside were tremendous. There were early purple orchids flowering at Great Douk, and wild thyme and harebells also added fresh colour to the surroundings.

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