ARSONISTS have set fire to fly-tipped rubbish near the entrance of an iconic Wirral building.
Car tyres, bumpers, cardboard, jeans and spray cans were among the items discarded by a van driver on grassland in Wilding Way, yards from Bidston Observatory.
Photographs sent to the Globe by the building's new owner Edward Clive show firefighters putting the blaze out this morning.
Edward was alerted to the rubbish by an early morning jogger, hours before it was set alight.
A firecrew used a high pressure hose reel to extinguish the fire. They remained at the scene for around 10 minutes.
No-one was injured.
Edward – who bought the Grade-two listed building with wife Fiona last year, with a plan to turn it into an arts hub and museum celebrating its scientific heritage – told the Globe: "I was gardening, went inside for 10 minutes and came back and the whole thing was ablaze with aerosols exploding.
"It covered the hill in thick black and presumably toxic, smoke.
"Given the intensity of the fire someone must have poured petrol on it for it to go up that quick, which is pretty brazen given that this was at 11am in the morning.
"The fire crew arrived quickly and put it out but once again it’s been left there until the local council, and admittedly their limited resources, can come back and clean it up.
"This is an on-going problem and shows no sign of stopping.
"Fly-tippers continue to dump commercial waste on Wilding Way which is popular with dog walkers, joggers and families.
"Apparently fly-tippers have started to set their rubbish on fire now to prevent addresses being found in paperwork or on delivery boxes.
"We need to draw attention to the problem as the area is popular and frankly having exploding toxic fires on public land is pretty dangerous."
Councillor Bernie Mooney, Wirral's cabinet member for the environment said: "This was clearly a very dangerous incident resulting from completely reckless actions with no thought for either the safety of nearby residents or properties.
"Furthermore there was also a considerable risk to the environment with some of the materials that had been set alight.
"Residents and businesses must take full responsibility for their waste and ensure that any organisations taking their waste have an appropriate licence and that it will be disposed of properly.
"We are currently working closely with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service to combat this problem and we would urge residents to report any suspicious activity to us immediately.
"Hopefully we can then take action to prevent incidents like this happening".