No Moor BBQs: Help us extinguish disposable BBQs

Posted by Catherine Flitcroft on 04/08/2020

Each year, moorland fires have a devastating effect on wildlife, livestock and people, and can often destroy the underlying peat that is crucial in our fight against climate change. Worldwide, peatland contains more than 550 gigatonnes of carbon, twice as much carbon as all of the world’s forests.

We’re calling on government to make the use of disposable barbecues on open moorland a criminal offence with a severe penalty attached for anyone in breach of this.

HELP: With our online form it takes 30 seconds to send a letter to your MP

Fires burn for days or weeks, can re-ignite and require significant human and financial resources, all at a significant public cost.  Moorland firefighting alone costs the UK economy over a million pounds each year and in some areas, threaten millions of pounds of peatland restoration work as well as exposing millions of people to dangerous levels of polluted air.  

Moorland fires are easily started by people lighting disposable barbeques but visitors enjoying the moors may not realise that they have started a fire or may choose to ignore warning signs.There were 137 wildfires larger than 25 hectares recorded in the United Kingdom in 2019, compared to only 16 in 2013. 

Over the weekend of 30 May 2020, more than 20 significant moorland and grassland fires were reported with devastating affects to some of our most iconic landscapes in areas such as the Peak District, the Yorkshire Dales and the New Forest. Since 2007, it is estimated that over 77km2 of moorland in the Peak District alone, has been destroyed as a result of wildfires, many of which were caused through disposable BBQs. 

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The BMC believe the time has come for stronger national legislation to prevent this happening and to protect our moorland landscapes.  Currently the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW), local by-laws and local protection orders govern fires on open moorland but stronger legislation is needed.

People travelling from urban to rural areas or holidaying far from home are unlikely to be aware of local restrictions.  A blanket, easy to understand and countrywide restriction will be more effective in deterring visitors from using them in public spaces.

We need your help

With your help, we wish to call on Parliaments in England and Wales to outline national legislation setting out stricter penalties and better enforcement.

Help us protect our beautiful moorlands for future generations and protect this vital resource in the fight against climate change.

Write to your MP

Please send this letter to your MP to ask them to support this request.  We would like this issue to receive widespread political support and lead to strong legislation making it illegal to ignite a disposable BBQ in any public space.  

HELP: Our campaign form makes it easy to send the letter to your MP. 

NoMoorBBQs is a BMC campaign, and is part of The Climate Project.

 


We want to say a big thanks to every BMC member who continues to support us through the Coronavirus crisis.

From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t do it without you.

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Anonymous User
09/08/2020
Disposable BBQs should be banned outright. It's not just the wildfire threat, they also cause damage in many other places e.g. all the picnic tables at Devil's Bridge in the Yorkshire Dales have had to be removed as they were all fire damaged from disposable BBQs being used on them.
Anonymous User
11/08/2020
Disposable BBQs are not my favorite thing, but I have had occasion to use them in the past, and with care they are safe and OK. Some have a wire frame to hold them off the grass, OK stood on a rock, and the City of Edinburgh Park people have installed a few paving slabs specifically for disposable BBQs.

What I am NOT happy about is the "criminal" aspect - we have just got the Land Reform Act 2004 in Scotland, which removed the criminal acts of camping and lighting fires, and now you are seeking to re-introduce one of them. What is justifiably criminal is failing to use freedoms responsibly.

Having seen a lot of broken glass on the beaches recently, it would be better to seek to ban sale of beer, wine, and spirits in glass bottles. But I think you will have little luck with that.
Anonymous User
11/08/2020
Yes, more legislation rather that education..... Just what we don't need
Anonymous User
11/08/2020
In Canada, all the picnic tables have concrete tops so they can't be damaged by BBQs.

I agree they should be banned from moorland, but you need to define moorland, and then all the BBQ packs should be labelled in big letters that it is illegal with a massive penalty.

You can't expect people with no countryside background to see it as any more than a playground they have a right to with no responsibilities. there needs to be a massive education programme about care of the countryside not leaving litter etc.
Anonymous User
12/08/2020
We could do with more disignated barbecue areas in the Peak District. If there were a few more barbecue areas like the one at Carsington Water with stone bbq, bins and picnic benches people would use them and there wouldn't be the problem of moorland bbqs
Anonymous User
14/08/2020
Given the number of fires disposable barbecues also cause when used (usually in breach of tenancy) on balconies in blocks of flats I think they should just be banned outright from sale, the use of them is extensive in all our rural areas, I saw a couple of idiots at Box Hill last weekend using one next to some long dry grass!
We also need to remember don’t just catch fire but contain some pretty nasty chemicals to help them ignite, and for those of us with asthma that can trigger an attack and anything smoky just adds to pollution and climate change

There is a petition to ban them on change.org but maybe one on the Government website to force them to look at it would be better?
Anonymous User
25/08/2020
It is no use having legislation if it is not policed. I reported an instance of a large fire lit under forest canopy in Ennerdale; the forest manager considered it too dangerous to investigate. When the fire danger is high perhaps the Australian system of days of total fire ban with severe penalties for breaches. Education needs to start in Primary School, the average person does not care anything for the countryside.

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