Two years’ ago, the New Forest National Park Authority called on retailers in and around the New Forest to remove disposable BBQs from sale and for a continued ban on fires and BBQs in the open countryside of the National Park. It followed a massive wildfire in neighbouring Dorset and rangers having to put out 60 BBQs in the New Forest on one hot summer’s day when the fire risk was declared high.
Since then, 50 shops and outlets in and around the New Forest have taken disposable BBQs off sale and the New Forest has been declared a no BBQ and fire zone.
The Co-op led the way nationally in June last year, taking the unprecedented decision to remove disposable BBQs from sale in stores within a mile radius of national parks in the bid to stop wildfires.
Now Waitrose and Aldi have decided to nationally ban disposable BBQs in their stores to reduce fire risk and cut down on waste by taking single-use BBQs off sale. Aldi said its ban on them would remove 35 tons of single-use waste packaging.
The campaign started in May 2020 when Brockenhurst business Streets Ironmongers pulled disposable BBQs from sale, and Brockenhurst Business Association urged other retailers to join them.
Further support came from independent stores, and local support was negotiated with national retailers including Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Sainsburys taking them off sale around the New Forest.
The campaign also sparked New Forest East MP Dr Julian Lewis to bring the matter up in Parliament.
High Peaks MP Robert Largan is now sponsoring a Private Members Bill to prohibit the use of disposable BBQs on open moorland; to give local authorities the power to prohibit the sale of disposable BBQs in their area; and for connected purposes. The second reading is due on 6 May 2022.
Last year Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council also put in measures to control the use of disposable BBQs and have been asking local retailers to withdraw them from sale.
BBQs, camping stoves or anything with a naked flame are no longer permitted in car parks or any areas of the Forest managed by Forestry England, the National Trust, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, and Wellow Parish Council.
All BBQ facilities at Forestry England sites have been removed, and prominent ‘no BBQ’ signs are at Forestry England car parks and information points.
Please continue the campaign by asking local stores to stop selling disposable BBQs.
If you are a retailer and you are supporting the campaign, please let the New Forest National Park Authority know by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added to their website.
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