A careless smoker who "didn't bother" to make sure their cigarette was extinguished could have caused a major fire at a Bucks beauty spot.

Rangers who look after the important green spaces at Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common in the south of the county said they "consider ourselves lucky" after a discarded lit cigarette was spotted in the grass at Stoke Common.

With the grass incredibly dry and the temperature soaring, the discarded cigarette could have caused a field fire - which could have had disastrous consequences for the Common, a site of special scientific interest.

Rangers said: "This cigarette butt isn’t just litter, whoever dropped it didn’t bother to ensure it was out.

"Luckily, it didn’t start a fire but as it was dropped on Stoke Common in the middle of a very hot, dry spell we can consider ourselves lucky!"

On Sunday, a fire in Olney - believed to have been caused by a barbecue - destroyed 10 hectares of freshly cut hay, showing exactly how carelessness can cause serious damage outdoors in this weather.

Buckinghamshire Fire's safety advice hub urges smokers to never throw cigarette ends out of car windows or drop them on the ground because they could start fires and ruin the countryside.