DETECTIVES investigating a large fire on marshland in Neston are continuing to appeal for information from three members of the public.

Almost a week since the fire occurred, at around 6.20pm on Saturday, March 19 in Parkgate, officers are keen to speak to three witnesses who were in the area at the time.

It is believed a woman was walking her black dog shortly before the fire took place and spoke to a group of teenagers.

A wildfire takes hold on marshland close to Parkgate (pic: @DaviesKatie)

A wildfire takes hold on marshland close to Parkgate (pic: @DaviesKatie)

A man and a woman were also in Parkgate and are believed to have spoken to a group of teenagers and taken photographs.

Officers are keen to hear from them as they continue to investigate the fire which is being treated as arson.

The damage to the Neston Reedbed by Parkgate.

The damage to the Neston Reedbed by Parkgate.

A number of enquiries are ongoing including conducting house-to-house and reviewing CCTV footage.

The public are being asked to check their CCTV footage prior to the fire taking place in particular residents living in the Manorial Road, Manorial Road South, Moorside Lane and Parkgate Road areas as well as the surrounding cul-de-sacs and to contact police if it could assist with the investigation.

Detective Sergeant Kevin Green, of Ellesmere Port local policing unit, said: “The investigation is still ongoing and we’re continuing to appeal for information and CCTV footage.

“I am particularly keen to speak to three members of the public who were in the area at the time and encourage them to come forward as they may have information which could help with our investigation.

“I know a lot of people took videos and photographs of the fire and I would ask people who did to submit it through to us as it could also assist with our enquiries.”

Three teenage boys, two aged 13 and one aged 14, were arrested on suspicion of arson and have since been released on conditional bail.

Cheshire Police Rural Crime Team said an officer from their team had been to the site since the fire was put out to assess the damage.

They reported: "8-9 hectares of reed bed and a hectare of marsh have been destroyed. This has damaged the nesting area of marsh harriers the habitat of bitterns and reed warblers and other species as well as insects and amphibians.

"Fire is not only a major problem for the wildlife it also affects the local community and particular residents living directly on the front near the marsh.

"Please report suspicious activity that may impact this area to 999 if you believe the marshland to be under threat.

"Keep lighters and barbecues anything ignitable away from the marsh.

"Don't allow dogs to disturb the wildlife which has already been impacted greatly by events and keep footfall in the marshes to a absolute minimum opting for walkways and pavements instead."

  • If you have information, CCTV or dash cam footage, please contact Cheshire Constabulary online or contact 101 quoting IML 1226437.
  • Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.