Day trippers, holidaymakers and residents alike are being reminded that barbecues and campfires are not allowed in some of South Lakeland’s most popular parks and open spaces.
South Lakeland District Council has put up new signs warning people that they could be fined £100 on the spot or up to £1,000 in court if they light a fire or BBQ in council-owned locations including:
· Rayrigg Meadow, Windermere
· The Glebe, Bowness
· Lightburn Park, Ulverston
· Noble’s Rest, Kendal
· Abbot Hall, Kendal
· Borrans Park, Ambleside.
The ban on unauthorised campfires and barbecues is part of the new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) which came into effect across South Lakeland in October 2021.
These PSPOs are designed to help keep the district clean and safe for everyone and to prevent anti-social behaviour.
They were introduced following a public consultation and will be in place for three years.
Councillor Eamonn Hennessy, South Lakeland District Council portfolio holder for Customer and Locality Services, said: “We would appreciate everyone’s help to ensure South Lakeland’s beauty spots remain welcoming for everyone this summer.
“Sadly over the past few years we have seen instances where council benches and seats have been broken up for firewood, areas of grass have been destroyed, and disposable barbecues have burnt through bin liners and set fire to bins.
“It’s so easy to think, ‘Oh, one little BBQ won’t do any harm’, but in the summer months dry ground means there is a much greater risk of wildfires starting.
“These can be devastating to wildlife and habitat, as well as placing unnecessary pressure on Cumbria’s emergency services.”
SLDC’s Locality Officers will be stepping up their patrols at popular visitor spots across the district over the summer holidays to help keep everyone safe, and they will be keeping a look out for unauthorised fires and BBQs.
Councillor Hennessy added: “The last thing our officers want to do is ruin someone’s day out or holiday by handing them a £100 fixed penalty notice, and if taken to court you could be fined up to £1,000.
“The best advice is to stick to the Countryside Code and leave no trace of your visit.
“Picnics are a much safer bet than barbecues, but if you do decide to light up a BBQ at an area that is not covered by a PSPO, then put it out afterwards and make sure the ashes are cold before disposing of them responsibly.
“If you see an unattended fire, always call 999.”
Full details of the locations of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) across South Lakeland can be found at www.southlakeland.gov.uk and the Countryside Code is at www.gov.uk/countryside-code