23rd Oct, 2020

Warning reiterated as fires at the Lickey Hills caused by barbecues reaches nine in eight days

‘DON’T have barbecues at the Lickey Hills’ – that was the warning from the country park’s rangers and the emergency services after nine fires in eight days at the beauty spot.

Most of them were started by disposable barbecues not being properly extinguished meaning they set alight to the grass left dry by the exceptionally warm weather.

The rangers thanked the fire service for all their hard work putting out the blazes and said: “Even when you think it’s out, peat can smoulder underground, fire can travel along tree root systems and rocks get super hot, all of which can reignite a fire.”

The warning about barbecuing at beauty spots has been reiterated by Rubery councillor Peter McDonald.

He said: “As amazing as the emergency services have been, we shouldn’t have to rely on already-stretched public services to tackle completely preventable fires and the damage they do.

“Such throw away items which are not only environmentally unfriendly due to their packaging and disposal, but also repeatedly cause enormous, irreparable damage to our countryside and injury to both domestic and wild animals, should be banned without question.

“Unfortunately, once people have had a barbecue and enjoyed themselves it would seem the last thing they think of is clearing up the mess.

“People need to be aware that barbecues are banned on the hills.

“The hills are there for people to enjoy themselves and walk their dogs without fear of them being injured.”

He has also asked Worcestershire County Council to increase the number of signs at the Waseley Hills warning people not to have barbecues there.

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