Trust calls for disposable barbecues to be banned

Pictures show a recent fire at Gentleshaw Common 

The county’s largest nature conservation charity is calling for disposable barbecues to be banned after they caused devastating wildfires at iconic landscapes across the country.

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has recently discovered the remains of several disposable barbecues at its Roaches nature reserve, near Leek, and Gentleshaw Common nature reserve, on the edge of Cannock Chase.

The Trust is calling for the barbecues – which can cost as little as two or three pounds to purchase – to be banned following an increase in fires across the country, such as in Yorkshire in Ilkey and Marsden Moors earlier this year.

Nearly one year ago, a large fire took place at the Trust’s Roaches nature reserve in August 2018, killing wildlife and habitats. When they were putting out the fire, the fire service found that it was started by campers who didn’t put their campfire out properly.  

Jeff Sim, Senior Conservation Manager for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, said: “We have seen the utter devastation disposable barbecues cause.

“We are finding so many on our reserves and it’s only a matter of time before one suffers the same fate as we’ve seen earlier on in the year in Yorkshire.

“They are truly devastating, not only for the landscape but also the flora and fauna which live there.

“We’re calling on them to be banned to prevent further damage. We would like local supermarkets and shops to make a stand by taking them off the shelves.

“Hundreds of thousands of these barbecues are sold each year and while most people will dispose of them responsibly, some don’t – which as we have seen, can have drastic consequences.

“It has been heart-breaking to see such huge areas of iconic landscape destroyed due to thoughtless actions – and we don’t want Staffordshire to suffer the same fate.”

The Trust is reminding people that if they see any kind of fire to call the fire service immediately.