Retailers come out in force to back the #BBQFreeNewForest campaign and protect the New Forest - New Forest National Park Authority

Over 50 retailers have removed disposable barbecues from sale in a bid to protect the New Forest National Park from being destroyed by fire.

More than half the National Park is internationally protected because of its rare wildlife yet large numbers of disposable barbecues have been used while the Forest is at high risk of fire.

Five weeks ago the New Forest National Park Authority’s joint campaign with Forestry England and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service called on retailers across the Forest to remove disposable barbecues from sale, and for a continued ban on fires and barbecues in the open countryside of the National Park.

Forest organisations including the National Park Authority, Forestry England, Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council and the National Trust have been working tirelessly with the emergency services to educate the public about the dangers of disposable barbecues and fires, and to protect the Forest and coast.

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre said: ‘We would like to thank all the retailers who care about the impact these BBQs have on the Forest and have taken them off sale. We would also like to thank all the residents who have backed this move and gone out of their way to go and have a chat with their local store. With the fire warning still in place and hot weather due this weekend and next week, it is vital we continue to urge retailers to join in the campaign to keep the Forest safe this summer. Our woods and lowland heathland are of global environmental importance for wildlife and their peaty soils store carbon and help reduce climate change. Wildfires at this time of year would cause immense damage to the ground and the rare flora and fauna. We must protect them from unintentional fires caused by carelessness.’

Posted on: 21 July 2020

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