Islington Council bans barbecues in borough’s parks

Barbecues will be banned in Islington parks to protect the environment and reduce air pollution.

By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

Highbury Fields, Islington
Highbury Fields Islington. Photo: LDRS

Barbecues will be banned in Islington parks to protect the environment and reduce air pollution.

People have been allowed to fire up barbecues in the borough’s parks since 2011, but this was paused because of the pandemic.

In 2018 Islington council limited the hours for barbecues in Highbury Fields after residents raised concerns.

London Fire Brigade also asked for a temporary ban on barbecues in 2018.

Last summer’s extreme heat wave saw an unprecedented number of grass fires, with 20 homes destroyed in the Essex village of Wennington when flames spread across scrubland as the temperature reached 40 degrees C.

Hackney council banned barbecues in 2019 and they are allowed in just a handful of parks in London.

Camden issued a temporary ban during covid and last year’s heatwave and  barbecues are allowed in Burgess Park in Southwark  in a designated area, but  they are currently still banned.

Environmental experts warned that “Islington is likely to receive visitors to the borough’s parks for a barbecue due to its excellent transport links and number of online publications that have promoted Islington as a destination to have a barbecue in a park.”

Pre-pandemic Islington was just one of four London councils allowing barbecues and saw extra litter caused by revellers, including disposable barbecues and food wrappers and complaints of anti-social behaviour.

Highbury Fields was a hotspot as it is Islington’s largest park and is close to the Tube. It attracted  more than 35 barbecues a day.

However anyone planning to cook up a feast in Islington parks is likely to get slapped with a fine.

The council estimates it will save £50,000 a year in security costs at Highbury Fields alone.

Air quality experts said exposure to air pollutants from barbecues is “relatively low” unless people are close by.

However tougher air quality rules will mean Islington will not meet them and needs to do more to improve air quality.

For people who still yearn for barbecued beef or sweetcorn there’s the chance to book an electric hotplate the council is testing at Paradise Park in Sheringham Road.

Cllr Rowena Champion, the executive member for the environment, air quality, and transport, said: “We’re determined to create a cleaner, greener, healthier borough for all, and reducing air pollution – which stunts children’s lungs and causes thousands of excess deaths in London every year – is key to achieving this.

“We’ve thought very carefully about our barbecue policy, and it’s clear that the use of solid fuel barbecues in our parks and open spaces would undermine our efforts to tackle the climate emergency and improve air quality. ”

Opposition leader, the Greens’ Caroline Russell backed the move.

She said: “I am so glad the council has listened to health worries, reviewed poiicy and concluded that charcoal BBQs are not ok in the park. It’s a good decision for health and climate goals.”

The ban will apply to coal and wood barbecues as gas appliances are already outlawed.

AdBlocker Message

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

About EC1 Echo

EC1 Echo is your free local independent community news website. We publish stories to the web across the week and offer a platform for local people to highlight what matters to them. EC1 Echo is a not-for-profit project in partnership with the Peel Institute. Please consider becoming a subscriber supporter from £3.00 per month.
We need your help

Submit your listing here