Many parts of Dorset including Bournemouth and Poole have declared a ban on BBQs and campfires in high fire risk areas. See some of the areas where BBQs and campfires are banned so far on our interactive map.

The need to ban BBQs and fires in Dorset 

On 18 May 2020 the Wareham fire, believed to be one of the most devastating forest and heath fires in living memory, destroyed an area the size of 230 football pitches. Over 430 firefighters worked hard to control the blaze which burnt for over 2 weeks and cost over £1 million. Many wild creatures and important habitats were also lost, and a recovery effort involved many conservationists. The fire is believed to have been started by a discarded disposable BBQ.

Wooden tables, areas of parkland and forest areas have also been left scorched by disposable BBQs and campfires – leaving scars on our beautiful landscape and a risk of major wildfire risk to people, property, and wildlife. 

A joint approach to reduce wildfires

Dorset Council is banning BBQs and fires at all of our country parks, and on Dorset Council land that is deemed to be a high fire risk. We have been in touch with others in Dorset who are looking to do the same, and after a multiagency meeting in April 2021, we are leading on a coordinated campaign to address the wildfire risk from BBQs (especially disposable) and fires. Under this joint approach:

  • Dorset Council have a disposable BBQ and campfire policy in place to support this ban. Clear and simple signage, banners and leaflets have been put out where bans are in place to let people know that having a BBQ or fire is not allowed
  • Litter Free Dorset is working with shops and supermarkets to encourage them to remove disposable BBQ’s from high fire risk areas. They will also be supplying safety messaging across Dorset for shops selling BBQs and other related items such as charcoal
  • Urban Heath Partnership is putting out large banners and signage at our protected heathland sites across the BCP Council and Dorset Council area stating it is illegal to have BBQs on heathlands
  • Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and rescue Service are regularly putting out the yellow road signs ‘no BBQs or fires’ along key road networks when there is a high fire risk in the area, get tips on wildfire prevention and safety measures
  • many organisations across Dorset are supporting the ban and have clear signage and shared messaging to communicate the key messages and let as many people as possible know about the ban
  • other organisations/businesses/landowners who are allowing BBQs to continue in low fire risk areas are supporting the BBQ responsibly message ‘Watch it, Bin it, Cool it’

Get involved and support the ban on BBQs and campfires

Organisations and businesses

Show your support for the ban on BBQs and fires as a business or organisation

If you support the ban on BBQs and campfires in high fire risk areas, add your business/organisation name to the list of supporters

Members of the public and visitors

Here are some ways you can support the campaign, and preserve the beautiful environment we have in Dorset:

  • never light a fire or use a BBQ in areas that are high fire risk or where there are signs saying no BBQs or fires
  • if you see others who shouldn’t be having a BBQ or lighting a fire just let them know about the ban and the wildfire risk
  • ask your local store to stop selling disposable BBQs and to display one of our posters

Joint campaign supporters of the ban 

So far we have backing from the following organisations:

  • the National Trust ban the use of BBQs and fires at Studland Bay
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council
  • Swanage Town Council ban the use of BBQs in their parks and beaches
  • Gillingham Town Council bans the use of BBQs in their parks and grounds
  • Bridport Town Council ban the use of BBQs on their land
  • Lytchett Minsters and Upton Town Council ban the use of BBQs on their land
  • Shipton Gorge Parish Council ban the use of BBQs on their land
  • Chickerell Town Council ban the use of BBQs on their land
  • Lytchett Matravers Parish Council ban the use of BBQs on their land
  • Ferndown Town Council ban the use of BBQs on their land
  • Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are supporting the ban across their area
  • Forestry England
  • RSPB
  • Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Visit Dorset
  • New Forest National Parks Authority
  • Lulworth Estate
  • AffPuddle and Turnerpuddle Parish Council
  • Dorchester Town Council
  • Sturminster Newton Parish Council
  • West Moors Town Council
  • Verwood Town Council
  • Bradpole Parish Council
  • Verwood Town Council
  • St Leonards Parish Council
  • Wareham Martin Parish Council

Supermarkets supporting responsible BBQs

The following supermarkets are supporting the 'BBQ responsibly' message with signage:

  • Coop
  • Southern Coop
  • Tesco Express Stores
  • Sainsburys
  • Morrison’s
  • Waitrose

Places where BBQs are permitted if used responsibly

Some areas permit BBQs if used responsibly:

  • Weymouth Town Council parks and beach
  • Lyme Regis beach

No BBQs or campfires poster

Download a poster to support the campaign and display as needed.