Experts say a fire which destroyed a large area of heath on Cadair Idris was probably started deliberately.

Young trees and heathland were affected by the blaze in April, which swept across 30 hectares at the Tan y Gader Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The habitats of upland birds such as skylark, merlin, meadow pipit and stonechat were destroyed.

The area will take years to recover, according to the Countryside Council for Wales, the Government body with responsibility for the outdoors.

SSSIs are protected in law and any controlled burning must be notified to the countryside council beforehand.