A WHOLE eco-system has been lost in the fire which ripped through the Lickey Hills on Monday.
Around 50,000sq m was completely destroyed by the blaze which included important heathland that a wealth of wildlife relied upon for food and habitat.
Deer, bats, butterflies and even lizards frequented the area while other wildlife would have also ‘passed through’.
A heathland management project had been operating for at least 30 years and it will take years for the land to recover.
A Lickey Hills Society spokesperson said: “The area had some of the best heathland in the country.
“The full extent of the damage is not yet known and is still being assessed.
“With time areas can recuperate but it is not good.”
The blaze broke out just after 1pm and was finally brought under control between 7pm and 8pm.
At its height, 12 crews from both Hereford and Worcester and West Midlands Fire and Rescue Services battled the blaze.
Because of the remote location, firefighters had to carry water to some parts of the site by hand in the searing heat and an Argocat all terrain vehicle was also used.
The billowing smoke could be seen for miles, people living in the area had to close their doors and windows and 15 people – including four children – were evacuated from their homes off Eachway Lane.
They were later let back into their properties on Monday night.
After the fire was extinguished, firefighters remained on-site for the following 48 hours, damping down the areas and they were still there yesterday morning, checking for hot spots and, working with the Lickey Hills Rangers, to assess the damage caused.
The cause of the fire is still to be confirmed.
Worryingly there have also been reports of other people having barbecues at the beauty spot since the fire occurred.
The spokesperson added: “There is a bylaw which clearly states fires and barbecues are not allowed at any time anywhere on the hills.”