THE UK’s largest timber insurance broker has advised landowners to put adequate insurance in place to protect their assets, in light of recent wildfires across Scotland and the wider UK.

Timber insurance specialist at Jelf, Kevin Brown, said: “The large blaze that broke out around the Moray area over the Easter weekend is a devastating reminder of how quickly wildfires can take hold and spread.

“There are three main reasons for the start and spread of wildfires – high temperatures, people failing to extinguish disposable barbecues properly after enjoying a picnic, and controlled moorland burning which takes place as part of estate management,” said Mr Brown.

His firm outlined a number of steps landowners can take to prevent fire risk, including encouraging visitors to be extra vigilant and having appropriate fire extinguishing equipment on site – but stressed that businesses must have adequate insurance in place.

“The problem with fire cover is that until landowners experience a blaze, they may not be aware of what they are entitled to claim,” Mr Brown continued. “In addition to covering the loss or damage of trees caused by fire, our specialist timber growing policy also provides for the cost of extinguishing or preventing the spread of fire, including the hire of helicopters where ordered by the fire service, up to a sum of £150,000.

“It takes a great deal of time, labour and maintenance to grow timber. Having the right insurance is crucial to protect your assets if the worst happens now that the summer is setting in,” he concluded.