Community Forest Garden to carry on its work after blaze

Community Forest Garden to carry on its work after blaze

by Tom Martin (July 2022)

MEMBERS of the Waterloo Community Forest Garden say a recent fire next to its site won’t stop them from carrying on their work in the community.

The Champion reported last week how a large blaze occurred underneath a pedestrian bridge on Sommerville Road, right next to Waterloo Community Forest Garden.

The fire caused damage to a section of the site including a tree and shrubbery, as well as a resident’s wooden fence and to the bridge itself.

Waterloo Community Forest Garden is described as a “sanctuary for nature and people” and opens for public access on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Janet Barnet, the chair of the group, said: “This is a fantastic resource and it’s wonderful that it’s here. The fire won’t stop the work that we are doing in the community.”

Merseyside Fire and Rescue, who were called to tackle the blaze on Tuesday, July 19, say the cause of the fire was “accidental.”

It happened during the recent heatwave, when temperatures in the area were the hottest ever recorded.

However, local resident Paul Teese believes the fire “would not have been so destructive” if vegetation from underneath the bridge had been cleared.

He said: “Had the site been properly gardened and managed in accordance with the licence granted to the project by Green Sefton, the fire would not have been so destructive or ‘jumped’ to cause damage to a resident’s property opposite the Forest Garden.

“It may also have damaged the integrity of our local heritage railway footbridge. This, in my opinion, could have been prevented.”

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