Moorland Fire

Moorland Fire
25 x 36 cm

There is a definite feeling of approaching autumn now, with some cooler days and more unsettled weather. It hardly seems any time at all since the spring, when there was a long spell of dry weather and the moors were tinder-dry. There were a number of serious fires at the time and several nature reserves were badly damaged. I think they were mostly caused by accident or carelessness this time, but unfortunately there are people who seem to get satisfaction from starting fires deliberately.

The fire in this painting is of a different kind. Every year between, autumn and spring, shooting estates burn off small patches of moorland to leave a patchwork of heather. This encourages the breeding of grouse, with the old growth providing cover and the new shoots providing food. The operation has to be done very carefully, because fires can easily get out of control, and once the underlying peat starts to burn it can burn for days and is very difficult to put out.


  1. Yes, it certainly looks and feels autumnal now. Mind you, I am looking forward to the intresting range of colours we shall be able to paint!

    This is a superb painting that captures the traditions that affect our landscape.

    Love it!

    PS: Sorry not to have commented on your blog while I was away, my dreams of being able to communicate via my phone were a bit too ambitious.

  2. Hi there Keith!... Love the extra information on the natural and unnatural fires on the moors!

    We have exactly the same problems in our northern forested regions of Ontario.

    These forests (thankfully) are still vast and when we have electrical storms that visit us in late summer and the forest floors are dry... all havoc lets loose... creating wildfires.

    We too have areas burnt off to encourage new growth as well... and as you said.... control is the key and tricky word.

    The very same wonderful... yet creative control that you have executed in this moorscape!

    Yet another gem Keith! Well done!
    Good Painting!

    Warmest regards,

  3. This is a lovely watercolour Keith. That smoke is amazing and I also love the colours and forms of those distant hills! |Excellent painting.

  4. Hello Rolina. Yes I'm looking forward to a bit of colour as well. Also, perhaps, some more interesting weather. I was out walking the dog in the gales today and I realised how 'alive' it made me feel.

  5. Hi Bruce, yes I can see how you would have the same problem with those forests. They must be even more difficult to put out, I imagine, with all that wood and resin.

    All the best,

  6. Hi Keith, autumn is certainly here, our cherry tree is gradually turning it's leaves already. Not much of a summer this year which is sad. Lovely painting that depicts the burning of heather on the estates.

  7. We seem to have done better up here, Caroline. We've had a lot of sunny weather, but not very hot. Maybe it's best to forget the summer and hope for a long autumn.

  8. Lovely painting again Keith, and such an interesting story to go with it.

  9. Hi Keith.
    Beautiful painting, as all your Watercolours are. I particularly like your " Passing cloud", it`s brilliant. All the best Keith.

  10. Thanks Vic. "Passing Shower" was one of those ones that just seemed to go well.

  11. Again another wonderful painting, Your watercolors are a joy to look at.. You paint the way I would like to.. LOL !

  12. Thanks Barbra Joan. I wish I could always paint the way I'd like to!


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