UNCARING countryside visitors ignored a deluge of warnings about the dangers of fire at a favourite Saddleworth beauty spot at the weekend.

The remains of two hand-built fires were found in woodland below Binn Green car park at Dovestone Reservoir on Bank Holiday Monday evening.

It has been hoped that plummeting temperatures over the weekend may have deterred many rogue barbecuers from lighting fires, and at first yesterday it appeared to be the case.

However, the latest fires were discovered by local resident and green champion Brian Banawich who makes a nightly tour of the area collecting litter left by visitors.

He said: “People are lighting fires in the woods at Dovestone after all the warnings and the devastation caused by fires in recent years.

“Both fires were already out and the marshalls had gone, this was around 7pm on Monday evening.”

United Utilities and Oldham Council had reiterated their advice to visitors to treat the area with respect ahead of the holiday weekend which, in turn, saw motorists issued with fixed penalty notices for illegal parking.

The bulk of fines were issued on the main A635 Greenfield to Holmfirth Road on motorists who ignored yellow road markings and blocked entrances to farms and residents homes.

Specific data over the weekend showed that nine fixed penalty notices (FPNs)were issued on Dovestone car park on every day of the Easter weekend - nine each on Good Friday and Saturday, six on Easter Sunday and 11 on Monday.

At Holmfirth Road, 40 FPNs were issued on Good Friday, 34 on Saturday, 23 on Easter Sunday and 32 on Monday.

At Hollins Lane there was one each on Saturday, Easter Sunday and Monday, and at Tunstead Lane there were four on Sunday, and one on Monday.

The illegal barbecuing and traffic chaos have been longstanding issues for the local community, even leading to intervention from Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams and Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham.

And they have led to the setting up of The Friends of Dovestone group to harness public opinion and find workable solutions to problems bedevilling the Greenfield reservoir.