Act responsibly and protect our dry grassland, public warned

15th August 2022


People are being reminded not to use disposable barbecues or light any fires in Three Rivers District Council's parks and open spaces after a number of small blazes have been extinguished in recent weeks.

Fires have been reported on land maintained by the council in Leavesden Counrty Park, Berry Lane, Rickmansworth and South Oxhey Playing Fields. Meanwhile today crews from Hertfordshire Fire Service have been tackling a fire in Oxhey Woods.

Barbecues are banned from all the council’s parks and green spaces.

Cllr Phil Williams, the council's Lead Member for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Sustainability, said: “I ask everyone to take extreme care in our grass and woodlands during this very hot and dry weather. We have had the hottest, and one of the driest summers on record and so vegetation is more susceptible than ever to fires and all of us must act responsibly. That means people must never use barbecues in these areas, and never drop litter, such as cigarettes and glass bottles, which could start a fire. We have already seen a number of fires which have thankfully been extinguished – and we really do not want to see any more.”

Disposable barbecues can start devastating fires in areas of dry grass in particular, and litter like cigarettes and glass bottles can also be a source of ignition.

There have been 745 wildfires in the UK so far this year - up from 247 in the whole of 2021. Though wildfires can sometimes occur naturally, ignited by heat from the sun or a lightning strike, most are caused by human carelessness.