Barbecue rules for beaches and parks that could see you fined £5,000 this summer

There are many areas you can enjoy a barbecue - but don't get on the wrong side of the law
-Credit: (Image: iStockphoto)


Barbecue-loving Brits have been urged to make sure they know the rules about enjoying a grill in the great outdoors this summer.

While tucking in to some freshly-cooked smoky favourites in the sunshine is a favourite pastime for many, there are also strict laws in place in some areas in order to keep the public safe - with hundreds of accidental fires caused by disposable barbecues in the UK each year. Because of this, there are bans in place in some popular areas, such as on certain beaches and in parks, which could see you hit with a fine if you fail to comply.

Some local authorities have introduced Public Spaces Protection Orders forbidding the use of barbecues in some of their spaces, and breaking these can lead to fines ranging from £50 all the way up to £5,000. Fire safety expert Dan McCarthy of Green Olive Firewood has outlined the penalties the public could face for barbecuing and how to avoid them, Bristol Live reports.

One of the most popular areas for a barbecue is at the seaside - but before you make plans to enjoy burgers on the beach, it's worth making sure that your local council does not have an order against it which could see you slapped with a fine. "Numerous local councils are introducing Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) which prohibit using barbecues on beaches," Dan explained.

Ignoring a PSPO, which also applies on many areas of land owned by the National Trust, can get you a fixed penalty notice of £50 from the council - and if you ignore this you risk prosecution by a magistrates court, which would result in a fine of £1,000. You can check your local council's website to find details of which beaches have these orders in place.

Another spot where barbecues are often seen is in public parks - however, this is another instance in which you should double check with your council first, as some have banned disposable barbecues in recent years due to the risk of wildfires. "You could be fined £100 or more if you are caught using disposable barbecues in public spaces that prohibit them," Dan warned.

If you do have a barbecue in your local park, be sure to clean up after yourself before you leave, including any food waste, disposable utensils, and the disposable barbecue itself. Dan advised: "Failing to do so is considered littering and can lead to a fine of up to £2,500 or a fixed penalty notice which is determined by the local authority."

And finally, avoid barbecuing near a main road, the expert urged, as the smoke can impair drivers' visibility - spelling not only a major safety risk, but a significant punishment for you too. "You risk being issued a Nuisance Abatement notice served under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Failure to comply with the notice could result in a prosecution by the court, resulting in a fine of up to £5,000," Dan said.

When choosing a spot to barbecue outside of your own garden, it's best to stick to designated barbecue areas provided by your local council. There are often paved or covered in gravel to prevent grass fires and mean that the smoke is concentrated to one area, making them safer and less disruptive.