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New Forest Volunteers.

Children accidentally setting fire to a forest.

The “New Forest Volunteers” clearing scrub, I would have helped but the last time I lit a bushfire I burnt the forest down, ok I was only a small kid. Some friends and me built a large den; well everything seems large when you are young. Anyway we would sometimes build fires in are local woods lit by stolen matches or a magnifying glass, on one occasion we were having a picnic and lit a fire in front of our den. Our den caught alight and quickly spread and we were surrounded by fire, I can still remember the heat. We managed to scramble to safety over a steep bank surrounding our den, but our jackets and bags with our food was lost. The woods backed onto a bypass which is now the M27 and a fire engine turned up, a fireman shouted at us shaking his head and we ran down a field as fast as our little legs could carry us. I remember looking back at the rising smoke, we went back a very long way home that day to avoid being caught. We returned home with blackened faces without our jackets and bags so we were in trouble when we got home, days later when we returned to our favorite woods we were shocked at the damage done. It taught us lesson though as we never lit another fire, not until we were much older anyway.