Arson probe after deliberate fires started at Hartlepool’s Summerhill Country Park

Fire crews were called to Hartlepool’s Summerhill Country Park on Thursday afternoon after a stretch of land was set on fire.

Friday, 11th March 2022, 4:25 pm

Staff contacted the fire service after the rear of the boulder area in the park was set alight at around 4.20pm.

Cleveland Fire Brigade have said that around 30sq metres of grass was on fire, with a second blaze at the same stretch of land reported at 6.30pm.

Fire crews remained on the scene for around 30 minutes.

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Cleveland Fire Brigade has said that 30sq metres of grass was on fire. /Photo: Summerhill Country Park and Visitor Centre

Both incidents are being treated as arson and police have been informed.

Hartlepool Borough Council has said it is “determined” to tackle the issue and have urged anyone with information to contact Cleveland Police.

A council spokesperson said: “The setting of deliberate fires at Summerhill Country Park is an on-going problem.

"There is absolutely no excuse for such behaviour and the wanton destruction it causes - the fires have a devastating effect on the natural habitats that support a rich mix of plants and wildlife across the site.

Firefighters were called to a fire at the park 4.30pm on Thursday, March 10./Photo: Summerhill Country Park and Visitor Centre

“We are determined to tackle this issue, but we need members of the public to help us by acting as our eyes and ears.

“We would urge anyone with information about fires at Summerhill – or if they see anyone acting suspiciously when visiting – to contact the police immediately on 101.”

A spate of similar blazes occurred 12 months ago at the park following the onset of the lighter nights.

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