Firefighters have been called to a series of grass fires at a popular beauty spot in Colchester.

Crews were called to Friday Woods, near Friday Wood Green, at around 10am this morning.

Police are also understood to be attending the area.

Huge plumes of smoke have been spotted by residents.

Gazette: Crews are tackling a number of grass fires at Friday Woods. Picture: Nicky CollinsCrews are tackling a number of grass fires at Friday Woods. Picture: Nicky Collins

A spokesman for the fire service said: "Firefighters were called to a number of grass fires in the same area in Colchester this morning. 

"Fire crews reported there are four different grass fires in close proximity.

"Firefighters managed to extinguish the fires by 11:10am.

"The cause of the fires have been recorded as deliberate."

Gazette: A fire has started in Friday Woods. Picture: Nicky CollinsA fire has started in Friday Woods. Picture: Nicky Collins

Russell Stubbs, 46, of Friday Wood Green, said: "We smelled smoke at about 9.45am and saw smoke coming from the woods.

"We went into the woods at an entrance just down the road from us to check it out.

"Some neighbours were already there and had called the fire service.

"The fire was close to a footpath that leads through the woods."


Mr Stubbs added: "The main fire that I could see was in the same location as another fire, which happened on June 22.

"However this time there also appeared to be a couple of other small fires in separate locations, one of which was further into the fields under an electricity pylon.

"I didn’t watch it for too long as the smoke and ash became quite thick. I think the fire service must have arrived shortly after as I looked at the site again at about 11am and they were just packing up and dealing with some smoking areas." 


Mr Stubbs said the woods have proved to be a "very important" place for nearby residents to exercise during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We’ve lived here for over 20 years and used the woods regularly," he said.

"We’ve seen more people out and about over the past few months as it’s such a nice place to walk around. There are some stunning views and lots of wildlife.

"Anything like these fires threatening the area is a big concern to the locals."