From the Councillor

This was a comment left by Cllr Hawkesworth. While I have criticised and name-called in the past, some things (like our beloved moor) are too important, so I completely endorse all comments. I'm going up there later, had looked forward to spending a few hours on the moor (it being my birthday and all), but, now...
May I please trespass on your hospitality to give visitors to your blog some news about the Moor? Although you cannot see from the town, 30% of Ilkley Moor is burned out and dead. This includes the most ecologically important sites, the best grazing for sheep and a good proportion of the grouse habitat. I am meeting English Nature and DEFRA tomorrow to discuss what I fear will be a long road to recovery. All who love our town and moor must work together to assist this goal. I may not agree with all that is said to me, I may not act on all suggestions put to me, but I do listen. I am very happy to listen now. The only thing I am not interested in is points scoring. We all value the work of our Fire Service, but I must in addition record our grateful thanks to our own Council staff, the employees of neighbouring estates and the farmers for the huge efforts they put in to contain the fire. I am sorry to have taken up so much space.
10 responses
Happy birthday, Bertie!
There is not a lot to tell you about the Moor that has not been in the "dead tree" media (they have been very on the ball). English Nature and DEFRA have been and gone. We await their observations and suggestions - they did say it was "grim" - as we have to take careful note of their "advice". Our officers are preparing schemes of action and applications for grants so we are ready as soon as we hear from EN. We are also discusssing the fire with our neighbours, Fire Service and others to gain what we can out of their experiences and also to try to keep alive the excellent co-operation the fire engendered. The recommendation to the Executive of Bradford Council will, I think, be to retain ownership and management in the hands of the Council for the forseeable future. There is nothing more to add at this stage, as I am trying to supply "straight" information. Thank you for your hospitality.
And thank you, Anne, for contributing.
In response to the fire, two Ilkley Summer Festival events have been turned in to fundraisers.

All of the profits generated from the pair of open air music events on Saturday 5 August and Saturday August 12 will be donated towards the recovery effort.

On Saturday 5 August, the Grove will be completely taken over by Rock Around the Clock. Three of the UK’s best rock ‘n’ roll outfits will play on an open air stage from 4pm until 10pm.

Big Boy Bloater and his Southside Stompers have recorded sessions for Radio 2 and were the house band on Channel 4’s Big Breakfast, whilst Earl Jackson Band has appeared on the Jonathan Ross show. Finally, Phil Haley and His Comments is a Leeds-based Bill Haley tribute band and have toured extensively around Australia and Europe.

Admission is £5 and tickets can be obtained from Ilkley Tourist Information Centre on 01943 602319.

And the following weekend, Nostalgia – a Summer Serenade will see performers from Opera North come together to perform an inspiring collection of popular classics, from Ivor Novello to Cole Porter and George Gershwin.

Theatre-style seating will be set up on the lawn in Spence’s Garden which is on King’s Road, Ilkley. The event will be compered by former Calendar host Geoff Druett.

Tickets are £12 and can be obtained from Ilkley Tourist Information Centre on 01943 602319.

It's worth noting that even the National Trust has moorland fires! The Kinder Scout fire of two/three years ago was far bigger that the Ilkley one (though because of strong winds, it was not burning as deeply). It was followed by a major review of fire-fighting techniques on the moorland, which should be considered in any future plans (given the long hot summers we're likely to have) for our moors.
Bertie, your comment is noted. Thank you.
Bad news! The Fire Brigade has had to return to the Moor over by Rivock. I hope they will soon contain it. I await the latest.
The fire over by Rivock has been controlled. The Moor is still bone dry and very hot in places. The Fire Brigade and the Council Countryside Service are keeping a careful eye on it.
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