London Fields BBQ ban: Hackney Council clamps down after record-breaking number of grass fires in the capital

Barbecues have been banned in London Fields

Barbecues have been banned in London Fields - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council has banned barbecues in London Fields to prevent grass fires in the current heat wave.

Commissioner Dany Cotton wrote to all London councils yesterday requesting a temporary clamp-down, following a record-breaking number of grass fires blazing across the tinder-dry capital.

London’s fire crews have tackled six times as many large grass fires in the past seven months than throughout the whole of last year.

While the Brigade has only attended four grass fires in Hackney in July and 22 since January, some boroughs like Hillingdon have had over 100.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Feryal Demirci said: “We are suspending the use of all barbecues in London Fields - the only park in Hackney where barbecues are allowed - with immediate effect. I would like to urge all residents and visitors to comply with this request.”

Barbecues are one of the core causes of grass fires along with smouldering cigarettes and glass bottles.

Ms Cotton said: “I have attended a number of these large grass fires and it never ceases to shock me how many abandoned smouldering barbecues fire crews spot.

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“In these arid conditions, barbecuing on dry grass is not just thoughtless, it’s reckless.

“We have a lot of green space in London but it’s nearly always lined by roads and houses. It’s only a matter of time before hot smoke and flaming debris catches nearby cars and houses and someone is seriously hurt.”