Please don't bring barbecues to parks

Published: Wednesday 4th July 18

With London basking in the current glorious weather Wandsworth’s parks and green spaces have never been busier, but the hot weather has also seen some people bringing barbecues with them which causes lots of problems.

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.

People who use barbecues nearly always leave behind scorched patches of burned grass that take months to recover.

The damage caused by barbecues in parks

On other occasions people have tipped burning hot coals into litter bins and set them on fire.

Insp Stephen Biggs of Wandsworth Parks Police said; “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.”

• People are also being urged to make sure they leave no 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, added:  “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.”

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Recent comments

WE NEED DEEDS NOT WORDS AND NO MENTION OF THE FIRE RISK OF THESE ILLEGAL BBQS WITH ALOT OF WIND - RE SADDLEWORTH MOOR BLAZES. THE FACT WE SEE PHOTOS OF SCORCHED GRASS RAISES THE QUESTION OF WHERE WAS ENABLE TO PREVENT THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE?? MY VIEW IS THAT ENABLE NEED TO RAISE THEIR GAME SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE MANAGEMENT OF OUR PARK. TOO OFTEN WE SEE EXCESSIVE LITTER ON A MONDAY MORNING AFTER SELFISH PEOPLE HAVE NOT TAKEN RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN RUBBISH COUPLED WITH A BELOW PAR REFUSE MANAGMENT SERVICE. WHY NOT ON THE SPOT FINES FOR LITTER AND BBQS?? ALSO WE NEED ACROSS THE ROAD SPEED BUMPS IN THE PARK TO PREVENT FLASHY CAR RACING ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON WITH SMALL CHILDREN RUNNING AROUND, SUNDAY BEFORE LAST. BETTER DOG CONTROL TOO!
JOHN METFIELD

5 July 2018

Mr Desbarres is not the only one to have concerns, judging from emails which I have received. Barbecues are not the only worries, although one of the worst, because of possibly dangerous outcomes. And if we are commenting on damaged grass, take a look at the western end of the Park after a large fair. Two months after the 10 day Fair in May, one particular patch is still bald and grey. It is not enough to say that the hirers are responsible for repairs. They probably do not even notice, but just fold up their tents and disappear to the next venue. I do wonder whether those who damage the park read these Council releases? We don't really want any more "furniture" in the Park, but some clear notices might be useful.
susan lofthouse

5 July 2018

Enable and Wandsworth Council are all talk and no action. I've lived in Battersea for 16 years and there's been a clear uptrend in anti-social behaviour in Battersea Park, including littering (due in part to overflowing bins), dogs using children's playgrounds as toilets, dangerous dogs off their leash (was pinned to the spot by such a dog), people having open-air BBQs and people being drunk and abusive. I've reported these numerous problems to both Enable and Wandsworth Council (and on occasion the police) but am repeatedly met with lame and/or nonsensical excuses, most common being that the problems are complex with no easy solutions or that it's somebody else's responsibility. It's a disgrace and media should know about this.
Olivier Desbarres

4 July 2018