Wandsworth Parks Police Warn Of BBQ Fire Hazard

Local green spaces are particularly vulnerable during the heatwave

BBQs in local parks are forbidden, but the continuing heatwave has tempted some residents to stoke up and risk severe damage to local green spaces.

It is against local byelaws to light fires or use barbecues in any of the borough's parks and open spaces. People who contravene this byelaw could be prosecuted and fined.

Insp Stephen Biggs of Wandsworth Parks Police says, “No one wants to be a killjoy but barbecues cause so much damage to grassed areas that there really is no alternative other than to ban them.

“People can still enjoy picnics but I’m afraid barbecues are not permitted. This important rule is there to protect our parks and to keep them looking good.

"Our local parks and commons are a great place to be when the weather is hot. We are just asking people to have consideration for other park users and to take proper care of their surroundings.

“We know our open spaces are very busy at the moment and we have stepped up patrols to make sure this and other important byelaws are observed.”

BBQ use nearly always leave behind scorched patches of burned grass that take months to recover. On other occasions people have tipped burning hot coals into litter bins and set them on fire.

Residents are also being urged to make sure they do not leave litter behind. The Council is calling on everyone who visits parks and green spaces to make sure they bag up their rubbish and dispose of it properly, even if that means bringing it home with them.

Simon Ingyon, Parks Director with the Council’s leisure and culture contractor Enable, adds, “If you do bring food and drinks to enjoy in the sun, please make sure you don’t leave anything behind for someone else to pick up.

“All rubbish should be placed in a litter bin. If the bins are full please bring it home with you and put in your own dustbin. Please don’t leave bags of rubbish out for others to clear away.

“This way we can all help to keep our open spaces clean and tidy and make sure they remain great places to visit and enjoy.”

July 19, 2018