Hosepipe ban

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  • KilgoreKilgore Frets: 1392
    I bought a bag of ice from the Co-op the other day. On the front of the bag it said.

    'Made With British Water'


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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 5293
    Nobody *needs* a lush, green lawn. 

    Water a few flowerbeds, sure, but the grass will recover when we get some rain. All the wild / common grassland is currently brown and nobody is going to water them. 

    It's easy to spot the selfish, entitled pricks at the moment just by looking at lawns. If you want green all year round, get astroturf. 

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  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 1009
    Nobody *needs* a lush, green lawn. 

    Water a few flowerbeds, sure, but the grass will recover when we get some rain. All the wild / common grassland is currently brown and nobody is going to water them. 

    It's easy to spot the selfish, entitled pricks at the moment just by looking at lawns. If you want green all year round, get astroturf. 
    And why not I have spent a fortune getting a gardener who can keep my lawn striped and manicured I sacked two last year and even more on a wireless controlled sprinkler for each zone and the fountain and waterfall.

    plus I pay the water company for the privilege 

    and  do my housekeeper will be jet washing this weekend 


    lol
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  • KilgoreKilgore Frets: 1392
    My neighbour has a garden full of foul smelling weeds. He keeps watering them. I can't understand why. 
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2350
    Kilgore said:
    My neighbour has a garden full of foul smelling weeds. He keeps watering them. I can't understand why. 
    I don't like my neighbour's kids either...
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17674
    Nobody *needs* a lush, green lawn. 

    Water a few flowerbeds, sure, but the grass will recover when we get some rain. All the wild / common grassland is currently brown and nobody is going to water them. 

    It's easy to spot the selfish, entitled pricks at the moment just by looking at lawns. If you want green all year round, get astroturf. 
    What about the lawn?  Won't somebody think about the lawn.

    We have enough water in the UK just useless water companies. When they were privatised they promised to bring efficiency. Instead they have brought unsustainable levels of debt that, one way or another, the public will have to redeem. Researchers at Greenwich University say that in the past decade, the nine companies have made £18.8 billion of post-tax profits. Far from using the money to make the water system better, they have paid out £18.1 billion in dividends, and financed investment through loading £42 billion of debt on to consumers.

    The university estimates the English are paying £2.3 billion more a year in water and sewerage bills than if the utility companies had remained in state ownership. These costs might have been bearable in good times, but as the Brexit-induced fall in the pound pushes real wages back down again, the prices of water, gas and electricity are bound to be political issues. Customers may not be overly keen to subsidise shareholders and lavishly overpaid managers.

    These companies have invested very little in real terms. Where I live we need at least one new reservoir. The water company says it can't afford one. The reality is all its profits go overseas rather than invest in what is required in the UK.

    Hosepipe ban .. my arse. This is the 21 century. There shouldn't be any hosepipe bans anywhere.

    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • LegionreturnsLegionreturns Frets: 5293
    The companies should be fined heavily by the regulator for instigating a ban due to poor management.  

    That doesn't alter the fact that your lawn is not more important than my kids being able to drink and wash. 

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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17674
    edited July 1
    The companies should be fined heavily by the regulator for instigating a ban due to poor management.  

    That doesn't alter the fact that your lawn is not more important than my kids being able to drink and wash. 
    Do people really water their lawns? I have a large lawn and one benefit of this weather is it doesn't grow so I don't have to mow it - I've never watered my lawn even when there's been plenty of water. None of my neighbours water their lawns either. We don't have a hosepipe ban yet. Looks like its coming in at the end of next week.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16147

    and  do my housekeeper will be jet washing this weekend 


    Do you not let them use the shower then?
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  • DefaultMDefaultM Frets: 1979
    I know the utility companies need to get their act together to fix leaks, but the number of self-entitled pricks I've heard saying, "I pay for it so I'll use it how I want" is pissing me off.

    Use electricity as much as you want as there's rarely a shortage of that, but water is a completely different matter and it needs to be carefully conserved when we're asked.
    It's not like people are saying they pay for it so they want to be able to run their taps and just watch it come out for fun.
    Private companies own the supplying of water, we pay them a significant amount of money each month to do so. They're telling us the water needs to be carefully conserved, but at the same time there's leaking pipes all over the country that haven't been fixed, and don't seem to be getting fixed either.

    Imagine you go in to a bar and order a beer, the landlord tells you that the beer needs to be carefully conserved so he's going to take your money but you can't have the beer. Then you get a quick glance in to the back and there's shit loads of beer pissing out of barrels all over the place and people are just stood round shrugging their shoulders at it.
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  • blobbblobb Frets: 935
    Chalky said:
     Some connection to the water industry maybe? 
    Yes, I worked for Severn Trent and Thames water. I now work for a Tier one contract partner so I am heavily involved with the capital investment programme. I've seen this from the inside, for over 20 yrs. When their sewage works go tit's up it's me they call - how about you?

    Don't get me wrong, my daily grind involves bashing my head against the wall with stupid investment decisions. I berate the businessman ethic all the time and as @Fretwired points out, the unsustainable debt situation must come to a head at some point, but there has been major improvements from the local authority days since privatisation.

    My gripe is with idiotic contract designers who follow audit trail design procedures. The guys that run the works do a great job, if they didn't you would soon know about it.

    To answer your question:
    How about a simple question. As a percentage of average total water consumption, domestic and industrial, how much does a hosepipe ban typically save?
    Severn Trent estimates that 66% of unmetered households own an outside tap and use it for 0.89 times/day. On average they use 47l/household.day. This is normal consumption budgeted into their water resource plan, in hot dry weather this increases significantly. Hosepipe bans (more correctly, Temporary Use Bans or Non Essential Use Bans) are triggered when resources fall into 'Zone E' on the drought trigger zone of a particular reservoir (graded A-F, F being the worst)

    If you want more information, and I'm pleased that people are taking an interest in the subject, here's some more information.

    https://www.severntrent.com/content/dam/stw/ST_Corporate/About_us/Docs/AppendixB-What-is-the-likely-demand-for-water.pdf
     
    https://www.severntrent.com/about-us/future-plans/water-resource-management/final-wrmp-documents/

    Other water Co's are available.



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  • blobbblobb Frets: 935
    DefaultM said:

    Imagine you go in to a bar and order a beer, the landlord tells you that the beer needs to be carefully conserved so he's going to take your money but you can't have the beer. Then you get a quick glance in to the back and there's shit loads of beer pissing out of barrels all over the place and people are just stood round shrugging their shoulders at it.
    That's not quite a fair analogy.

    Let's say people need Beer to survive (I know, probably some on here in that category). You get as much Beer as you want, whenever you want it and it costs you, not £4 a pint, but 40p a pint. Yay! Then there's a world cup, and people start using all the beer up so people who don't like football can't give Beer to their babies. The barman says, hey guys, you can't handle more than 6 pints of this stuff, why keep blatting yourself with 10-12 pints, there's some kids over their really need to get pi**ed? At which point the drunkard looks on the floor and see's that some beer has spilled out of the ullage trays onto the floor and wonders why the barman doesn't give that to the kids instead.



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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16147
    Hmmm. I’m not convinced by the “water companies have a bad time of it” argument.

    I live right next to a bridge. At the side of the bridge is an exposed water pipe which travels along the outside of the bridge. It’s quite a big pipe..

    Recently, some guys from the water company came and erected a posh metal fence up (partly on my land without permission) to stop people from climbing onto the pipe (kids do from time to time but not for a few years now..) I went up to them to ask them why they weren’t going to fix the leak in the pipe - there is a joint in it and the joint leaks - it must let go of a fair amount of water each year.. more than I’d ever use from a hosepipe. “Not economically viable” was the reply..
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  • sev112sev112 Frets: 388
    I like diesel cars and coal fired power stations; I like to drink my coffee out of cardboard plastic cups and I like my food from Tesco’s in black plastic trays.  I am happy to pay for all this.

    apparently however it’s not environmentally friendly so I try not to any more, even though I have paid to do so.

    just cos I can pay for something doesn’t give me a right to do so and not be part of the problem
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2350
    Isn't the "leaking pipes" thing the same as the "potholes" thing?

    The number of people who moan "I can't believe I pay so much tax and they don't fix potholes" is almost unbelievable, as if fixing them should be instant.  In reality, there are tens of thousands of potholes all over the damn place and with all the money in the world there would still be a lead time.

    Ironically, there is an argument hidden in there that since, well, the victorian era, Britain has had a bad habit of papering over cracks in our infrastructure, where in reality replacing it would at times have been better.  Maybe we could spend untold billions replacing water pipes with kevlar or graphene lined ones 100 times less prone to bursting, but until we do, the things are going to burst.   Even if all the 18.8 billion is profits had been invested in such a project, the reality is it probably wouldn't have made a dent. 

    Britain is densely populated with very entitled people, that would be hard work for a private or public body (disclaimer: I don't think the investment situation would be any better if water had stayed public, though I do suspect water would be a fair bit cheaper).

    The funniest example of the above is that some of the work required to repair the palace of Westminster is rectifying the bomb damage from WW2, which was never properly repaired!
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 16147
    edited July 1
    sev112 said:
    I like diesel cars and coal fired power stations; I like to drink my coffee out of cardboard plastic cups and I like my food from Tesco’s in black plastic trays.  I am happy to pay for all this.

    apparently however it’s not environmentally friendly so I try not to any more, even though I have paid to do so.

    just cos I can pay for something doesn’t give me a right to do so and not be part of the problem
    We are talking about paying for a commodity which has a scarcity, and a utility company that are beholden to provide this resource for you (there is legislation relating to the supply of utilities) when it is an essential service, only to be told we can’t use it as we want to when it gets a bit hot as the reserves are low. Now this is essentially fine - this happens. 

    The issue is whether or not the amount of water saved by a hosepipe ban is more or less than the amount the utility company loses on leakage each year. And whether they should be fixing those leaks as part of their commitment to the service rather than taking profit instead.
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  • blobbblobb Frets: 935
    Hmmm. I’m not convinced by the “water companies have a bad time of it” argument.

    I live right next to a bridge. At the side of the bridge is an exposed water pipe which travels along the outside of the bridge. It’s quite a big pipe..

    Recently, some guys from the water company came and erected a posh metal fence up (partly on my land without permission) to stop people from climbing onto the pipe (kids do from time to time but not for a few years now..) I went up to them to ask them why they weren’t going to fix the leak in the pipe - there is a joint in it and the joint leaks - it must let go of a fair amount of water each year.. more than I’d ever use from a hosepipe. “Not economically viable” was the reply..
    ..and I've just fixed up a large works that was hemorrhaging cash at an alarming rate. They tried to 'save' money by not replacing some key assets. The designers fluffed it and they are now about half a million over the original spend. Yup, half a million. I fixed it with some knowledge and a good electrician. The knowledge was lost because of business decisions, the designers fluffed it because they were following 'procedures'. 

    But, this is about hosepipe bans, and we can all do our bit not to waste a precious resource just because we shouldn't have too. Take a shower instead of a bath. You do your bit, I'll keep fighting the idiots from the inside.
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  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 1009
    Britain is densely populated with very entitled people, 

    Where do people find  these words very entitled people

    what we have in Britain is a large working and middle class who should in the 21st century reasonably expect to have clean water and sanitary conditions which they work and pay for.

    most of those people are very aware of less fortunate souls in underdeveloped countries and in their own who dont have the staples hence those people donate billions to charity every year.


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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6275
    been raining all day down here, tis loverly. 

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17674
    Isn't the "leaking pipes" thing the same as the "potholes" thing?

    The number of people who moan "I can't believe I pay so much tax and they don't fix potholes" is almost unbelievable, as if fixing them should be instant.  In reality, there are tens of thousands of potholes all over the damn place and with all the money in the world there would still be a lead time.

    Ironically, there is an argument hidden in there that since, well, the victorian era, Britain has had a bad habit of papering over cracks in our infrastructure, where in reality replacing it would at times have been better.  Maybe we could spend untold billions replacing water pipes with kevlar or graphene lined ones 100 times less prone to bursting, but until we do, the things are going to burst.   Even if all the 18.8 billion is profits had been invested in such a project, the reality is it probably wouldn't have made a dent. 

    Britain is densely populated with very entitled people, that would be hard work for a private or public body (disclaimer: I don't think the investment situation would be any better if water had stayed public, though I do suspect water would be a fair bit cheaper).

    The funniest example of the above is that some of the work required to repair the palace of Westminster is rectifying the bomb damage from WW2, which was never properly repaired!
    Oh they do fix the potholes where I live. You report them online and a man in  van turns up and digs out the pothole and fills it with little stones. Four weeks later the little stones have gone and hole is bigger. They then use the fast setting tarmac - doesn't work. It crumbles. And so last week our entire road was resurfaced. The last time it was done? According to the council 1968. We no longer have a patchwork of repairs but a functioning road. Now for the rest of the town.

    I've lived and worked in Germany. Great roads which are maintained properly. Lots of clean fresh water and power. Why is that? The companies than run them aren't allowed to make huge profits without reinvesting the money. Their water companies aren't owned by Kuwaitis who don't give a fuck if you can shower or not so long as they get their one or two billion a year.

    But hey moan about people who moan - however I think the moaners have a point. Service before profit. Our utilities should be under state control and run for the benefit of everybody. Hosepipe bans in the UK are ridiculous.

    As for 'entitled' .. yes I am. I pay taxes I pay water bills and the water companies made £8.1 billion in profits most of which lined the pockets of the foreign owners. If you're happy with that then you have a screw lose. If profits were reinvested we wouldn't have this problem. My water company admits it loses more water through leakage than it uses all summer. Fix the leaks and no hosepipe ban.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6275
    what I find interesting is how there is no competition in the water field. If I'm unhappy with the service or the price I pay, I can't shop around and get my water from someone else. We are wholly under the protection of the regulator, who is pretty much hamstrung by the regulations they are allowed to enforce. 

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2350
    Britain is densely populated with very entitled people, 

    Where do people find  these words very entitled people

    what we have in Britain is a large working and middle class who should in the 21st century reasonably expect to have clean water and sanitary conditions which they work and pay for.

    most of those people are very aware of less fortunate souls in underdeveloped countries and in their own who dont have the staples hence those people donate billions to charity every year.


    They can definitely reasonably expect these things.  Which has literally nothing to do with a hosepipe ban where people are just told not to pour thousands of gallons onto their lawns and cars.

    However people in this country are staggeringly entitled, on all issues and at all levels of society. 

    IMHO, most people, however hard they work to earn ther money, do take for granted the staggering piece of luck of simply being born here.  However hard a lawyer or accountant works they have not, in recent times, had their starving families slaughtered by machete wielding nutters.

    These two phrases are related but do not share a direct correlation.

    People can't be entitled if they give to charity... actually, they can.  Sad fact as well, charitable donations are totally insufficent on any level to deal with global poverty.  Even with many many billions of government aid globally, problems are rarely fixed.  Food banks in the UK, which supermarkets could easily and casually completely stock, are often struggling to operate.
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • NiteflyNitefly Frets: 2172
    Some of you may have seen or read about the fire up on Saddleworth Moor, which is now being tackled by the army - they've been called in by the Mayor of Manchester (Andy Burnham - remember him?)

    However there is now another moorland fire a few miles away on Winter Hill: 

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-44671875#

    The most astonishing thing about this one is that it was started deliberately!  Police have arrested a 22-year-old man from Bolton on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.  Meanwhile over 100 fire-fighters are risking life and limb trying to put it out.  They are using helicopters to drop water from Anglezarke Reservoir onto the fire.

    Did anyone bring the petits-fours?
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 6275
    Nitefly said:
    Some of you may have seen or read about the fire up on Saddleworth Moor, which is now being tackled by the army - they've been called in by the Mayor of Manchester (Andy Burnham - remember him?)

    However there is now another moorland fire a few miles away on Winter Hill: 

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-44671875#

    The most astonishing thing about this one is that it was started deliberately!  Police have arrested a 22-year-old man from Bolton on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.  Meanwhile over 100 fire-fighters are risking life and limb trying to put it out.  They are using helicopters to drop water from Anglezarke Reservoir onto the fire.

    this is not unusual, people see news items about bush fires and think to themselves "that looks like a great lark I'll do that". 

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • blobbblobb Frets: 935
    VimFuego said:
    what I find interesting is how there is no competition in the water field.
    There is 'artificial' competition built into the regulatory framework i.e. they compete with each other.
    If I'm unhappy with the service or the price I pay, I can't shop around and get my water from someone else.  
    What you mean is there is no 'choice'. And you would be correct.

    We are wholly under the protection of the regulator, 
    Indeed, but then how many other 'privatised' companies have such a protection mechanism?

    In my view, the current regulatory system has run it's course. It worked at the beginning, driving investment in return for profit (ignoring the investment coming from the water Co's borrowing money from themselves for now). We improved the infrastructure and quality went up. This was in part driven by total adherence to EU quality objectives (unlike e.g. Spain who pick and choose. Would you drink the water in Spain? I digress). But you can only clean it up so much before the return on investment starts getting into 80/20 territory. We throw a lot more chemicals into rivers than we used to, and point source nutrient load is reduced. But farmers still throw tonnes of fertilizer into rivers so the impact is negligible. etc...etc...

    With the EU out of the way, who knows what will drive improvement going forward? No one knows yet. There is still the serviceability aspect to keep ahead of but I think you may have hit the nail on the head with regard to choice. it's not easy to manage the responsibilities when it comes to sharing a critical resource like water. Industry supplies already have choice via inset agreements but Tories like to let market forces decide the price. So, I guess we will soon be seeing the trade in supply opened up to this effect. In fact the Severn Trent businessmen are already making plans, and we know which side their bread is buttered. Be careful what you wish for...

    http://wwtonline.co.uk/news/severn-trent-to-buy-dee-valley-water-for-78-5m



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  • RockerRocker Frets: 2825
    Is there a machine or a tool/gadget to locate a leak in a water main pipe?
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [Albert Einstein]

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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17674
    edited July 1
    Nitefly said:
    Some of you may have seen or read about the fire up on Saddleworth Moor, which is now being tackled by the army - they've been called in by the Mayor of Manchester (Andy Burnham - remember him?)

    However there is now another moorland fire a few miles away on Winter Hill: 

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-44671875#

    The most astonishing thing about this one is that it was started deliberately!  Police have arrested a 22-year-old man from Bolton on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.  Meanwhile over 100 fire-fighters are risking life and limb trying to put it out.  They are using helicopters to drop water from Anglezarke Reservoir onto the fire.

    Saddleworth Moor was also started deliberately. Bikers were seen up there. This is more sinister that it first appears. Apparently Saddleworth Moor was a boggy wetland but the owners (and RSPB) drained it to allow heather to grow and turned it into a grouse moor for shooting. The peat in the ground is therefore dry and is very combustible. It's believed the bikers may have been anti-grouse shooting and by setting fire to the moor they've killed lots of birds, ruined the land and made grouse shooting impossible. The owner said he saw the bikers drive through his village. One stopped and raised his visor and gave the landowner a big grin which he puts down as a taunt.

    The police are not investigating.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 2350
    Fretwired said:
    Nitefly said:
    Some of you may have seen or read about the fire up on Saddleworth Moor, which is now being tackled by the army - they've been called in by the Mayor of Manchester (Andy Burnham - remember him?)

    However there is now another moorland fire a few miles away on Winter Hill: 

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-44671875#

    The most astonishing thing about this one is that it was started deliberately!  Police have arrested a 22-year-old man from Bolton on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.  Meanwhile over 100 fire-fighters are risking life and limb trying to put it out.  They are using helicopters to drop water from Anglezarke Reservoir onto the fire.

    Saddleworth Moor was also started deliberately. Bikers were seen up there. This is more sinister that it first appears. Apparently Saddleworth Moor was a boggy wetland but the owners (and RSPB) drained it to allow heather to grow and turned it into a grouse moor for shooting. The peat in the ground is therefore dry and is very combustible. It's believed the bikers may have been anti-grouse shooting and by setting fire to the moor they've killed lots of birds, ruined the land and made grouse shooting impossible. The owner said he saw the bikers drive through his village. One stopped and raised his visor and gave the landowner a big grin which he puts down as a taunt.

    The police are not investigating.
    Where does that story come from?
    Warning: this post may contain overtly affectionate references to Mary Spender
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 17674
    Fretwired said:
    Nitefly said:
    Some of you may have seen or read about the fire up on Saddleworth Moor, which is now being tackled by the army - they've been called in by the Mayor of Manchester (Andy Burnham - remember him?)

    However there is now another moorland fire a few miles away on Winter Hill: 

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-44671875#

    The most astonishing thing about this one is that it was started deliberately!  Police have arrested a 22-year-old man from Bolton on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.  Meanwhile over 100 fire-fighters are risking life and limb trying to put it out.  They are using helicopters to drop water from Anglezarke Reservoir onto the fire.

    Saddleworth Moor was also started deliberately. Bikers were seen up there. This is more sinister that it first appears. Apparently Saddleworth Moor was a boggy wetland but the owners (and RSPB) drained it to allow heather to grow and turned it into a grouse moor for shooting. The peat in the ground is therefore dry and is very combustible. It's believed the bikers may have been anti-grouse shooting and by setting fire to the moor they've killed lots of birds, ruined the land and made grouse shooting impossible. The owner said he saw the bikers drive through his village. One stopped and raised his visor and gave the landowner a big grin which he puts down as a taunt.

    The police are not investigating.
    Where does that story come from?
    All over the place .. was on the BBC R4 this morning where they interviewed a gamekeeper and is reported in the Sunday Times. The gamekeeper said they'd had trouble before. There were bikers with unmarked bikes - he had a run in with them and they swore and threatened him. There has been friction between the landowners who have turned the land into a private estate for grouse shooting and others who disagree with what's happening and others who don't think birds should be shot.

    From the Times:

    Saddleworth fire: ‘Arsonists revel in moor havoc’

    A gamekeeper claims youths who started the Saddleworth blaze are mocking justice while police take no action

    Seven days of fighting the fire ripping through Saddleworth Moor have left Richard Burch exhausted, stinking of ash — and furious.

    Not only has he seen three years of hard work restoring the moor go up in flames but the youths he claims to have seen starting the fire are around his village, with no police response.

    Burch, a gamekeeper for the Stalybridge Estate, where the fire started, told police a week ago how four scrambler bikers had built a racecourse, ripping up vegetation and setting it on fire.

    “I got a phone call on Sunday afternoon saying there was smoke on the moor. I went up in my ATV [all terrain vehicle]. There were four bikers who had made a sort of racecourse with jumps. There was rubbish all over and that’s where the fire started. I have three other lads with me who were witnesses.

    “The bikers were hurling abuse at me — they knew I couldn’t catch them. By the time I got there . . . the fire was raging.”

    Over the past week, seven square miles of land between Tameside and Oldham have been ablaze, blanketing the area in smoke and ash. About 160 firefighters have been battling the inferno, aided by 100 soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The moors, and their wildlife, have been destroyed and thousands of people have had a week of breathing highly polluted air.

    The alleged culprits, however, have not been questioned. Greater Manchester police said the investigation was led by the fire service. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said no investigation would start until the fire was out.

    The final costs could run into millions of pounds. Major Phil Morgan, of 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland, said his men had dug trenches to contain the fire. “Six months ago they were in Iraq in 50C heat. At least here there’s no risk of being shot at,” he said.

    The blaze has also sparked a battle over just how an area of bogs and wetland became dry enought to burn so fast.

    Pat Thompson, uplands policy manager for the RSPB, the bird charity, whose nearby Dove Stone reserve was also damaged, said: “Grouse moors are mostly wetland that have been dried out to encourage heather to grow. This dries the peat, which becomes very flammable.”

    The land is mostly owned by Enville and Stalybridge Estates, a family trust, which has spent five years turning it into a grouse shoot. It received taxpayer-funded farm grants of £303,000 in 2016 with £215,000 for “practices beneficial to climate”.

    Peter Williams, part-owner of Enville and Stalybridge, disagreed with the charity. “The RSPB ignores the benefits of grouse moors for ground-nesting birds,” he said. However, he admitted, the fire had destroyed those benefits: “We have lost our birds and they take a long time to return. The future is very grim with 80% burnt.”

    For Burch, the tragedy is personal. “The wildlife it has taken out is unbelievable. It will take years to restore. Only in the last two years we’ve had nightjars nesting on the moor for the first time in 30 years. Now they’re gone”

    As if to rub salt into the wound he also saw one of the men he blames for the blaze driving his motorbike around a village. “He lifted his visor, grinned at me and sped off. It was a taunt.”


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    Rocker said:
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