Fire pond created in Northumberland

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Climate change predictions mean that the Cheviot Hills in Northumberland National Park can expect warmer wetter winters and hotter drier summers, with an increase in fires on peat moorland as a result.

The aim of this project was to create easy access to water for the fire and rescue service when tackling fires in remote areas. It also gives access for helicopter firefighting teams.

Tell us about the scheme

It was designed by the Environment Agency and the project was managed and procured by Cheviot Futures, a multi-sector climate change adaptation partnership.

  • The lake is 7km-wide
  • The pond is on the Linhope Estate in the Breamish Valley
  • It has been designed to give firefighters easy access to water to fill up high velocity pumps and helicopter buckets

Why is being introduced?

Dry springs and summers have led to a number of wildfires across the heather moorland of the National Park in recent years.

Unless properly managed the peat soils, which have taken thousands of years to establish, can catch fire and burn down to the bedrock. They are irreplaceable, along with the heather, game and wildlife that lives on them.

Jennifer Hewitson, Cheviot Futures Project Co-Ordinator,said: “ Loss of livestock and even human life can also be a risk in these fast-moving conflagrations, or in equally fast and devastating floods. Taking timely steps to adapt to the impact of such extreme events, can make the difference between recovery and tragedy.”