London Fields disposable barbecue ban
Hackney Council has announced its intention to ban the use of disposable barbecues in London Fields this summer as part of a wider crackdown on the amount of waste left in the park. Visitors to the park will still be allowed to use barbecues, but only portable, re-usable ones which will not burn the grass and are more environmentally sustainable.
The barbecue area in London Fields has grown in popularity since it was first introduced in 2011, and hot summer weekends can see thousands of people visit the park for picnics and barbecues. As the number of visitors has grown, so has the amount of rubbish left scattered in the barbecue area at the end of the day and the cost of managing the area.
For several years the Council has been advising visitors to use stands for their barbecues, and has been handing out bricks to raise disposable ones off the ground. Unfortunately, some irresponsible individuals have chosen to ignore the rules for barbecuing in the park, burning the grass and leaving their litter on the ground. As a result the Council is being forced to take action to reduce the impact on the park.
Most people in Hackney live in flats without gardens, so our parks are vital places for residents and visitors to get together outdoors. The barbecue area at London Fields is particularly popular, but that popularity has brought with it some problems, like significant amounts of waste and burnt areas on the grass. We are asking the park users to look after the park they love, dispose of their waste responsibly and not to damage the park.
At the end of a hot day, the bins provided specifically for barbecues and charcoal are overflowing with disposable barbecues - none of which are recycled due to the charcoal and food residue. As the Cabinet Member responsible for parks as well as waste management, I’m glad we are bringing in a policy to help to address the issues seen on London Fields, whilst still allowing people to barbecue responsibly.
Signs and banners will inform visitors about the new rules. Enforcement Officers from the Council will patrol the park at weekends, remind people of the rules and remove any disposable barbecues.
Images by (top to bottom) Gareth Jones / Hackney Council / Hackney Council