One hundred tonnes of peat caught alight in Bushy Park this weekend after the pile was ignited from a "controlled fire" in the park.

Firefighters were tackling the blaze for more than four hours and enlisted help from the Royal Parks who used a JCB to dig out the peat.

Watch manager Noel Hanson said: “Peat fires can be deep-seated so we actually gained assistance from the Royal Parks to use a JCB to dig out the peat. It can burn down into the earth, so we put water into the area as well.

“Luckily nothing was damaged. It was all trees and shrubs and the peat. No buildings or people were hurt.”

Four fire engines raced to the scene on May 4 at 4pm, using a kilometre of hosing snaking to the nearest water source in Teddington to fight the fire.

Mr Hanson said: “We believe [the fire was caused] from controlled burning within the park that would have spread to the peat.

“During the summer people should be extra careful with barbecues and extinguishing cigarettes in parks. When using barbecues, make sure they are away from trees and shrubs.

“The crews worked really hard over that time to put out the fire and get it under control and with help from the Royal Parks as well.”

Chestnut Avenue was closed from Teddington and cars and buses had to find alternative routes.