Estate issues fire danger warning

The estate believes the fires may have been started deliberately
The estate believes the fires may have been started deliberately

A Deeside estate is reminding people about the dangers of fire following the discovery of two separate outbreaks on its land.

The alarm was raised in the early hours of Friday, May 17, by a passer-by who noticed smoke in the Hill of Banchory area and reported the wildfires to the estate.

Two separate smouldering fires were found in woodland just to the north of Hill of Banchory.

Although nothing else was found at the scene, it is believed the fires may have been started deliberately.

The estate is urging people t act responsibly in the countryside.

A spokesperson for the Leys Estate Group, said: “As an estate we encourage everyone to enjoy the countryside around us and make the most of the nice weather and lighter nights.

“However, we also ask people to act responsibly and be aware of the danger fire poses.”

The spokesperson added: “We have had a very dry winter and spring in Aberdeenshire meaning our countryside is at risk of fires which can spread very quickly putting wildlife, livestock, houses, buildings and surrounding vegetation and crops at risk.

“Thankfully the recent fires were spotted early and extinguished before they could do any further damage, but the situation could have been so much worse with them being close to houses on the Hill of Banchory.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service recently issued advice for people living in or visiting high-risk areas following a number of wildfires in parts of Aberdeenshire, Moray, the Highlands and Central Belt.

Leys Estate lies to the north-east of Banchory, nestled between the River Dee and the Hill of Fare and covering around 7,800 acres of mixed-use land and woodland.