A walker has encouraged people to always call the fire brigade when in doubt after spotting a fire in Beckenham Place Park.

Julian Kirkman-Page was walking with his wife on Sunday night (July 15) at around 9.30pm when he saw the flames on Crab Hill.

“We couldn’t believe how big the fire was,” he told News Shopper. “We saw it from a distance and presumed there was a crowd, but it had been abandoned.

“One breeze and the dry grass six foot away would have gone up. It wasn’t just the field that was in danger, it was the houses, the railway station and the ancient woodland trees.”

Julian said booze cans were littered around the flames and he was initially reluctant to contact the fire brigade.

He said: “I was nervous about it. Do they really want to come out for a field fire? They were there in minutes and said ‘thank god you called’ because it could have been worse.

“They were thrilled they were contacted because 40 fire engines were dealing with a similar incident elsewhere.”

He added that Beckenham Place Park and its ongoing major development could have endured a huge setback if nobody had stumbled across the fire in time.

“Whatever idiots left the cans were probably drunk," Julian said. "It was so dangerous and thoughtless, especially in this dry weather.

“What could they have been thinking of?”