No BBQ’s on Streatham Common: Reason’s why.

Summer is a great time for escaping  out in to your local green space and firing up a BBQ. There is always something special about the smell and taste of food cooked on an open fire, and a sense of freedom if you don’t have a garden to host your own. However, Lambeth Council do not allow BBQs in any of their green spaces. Far from being killjoys, there are good reason’s for why.

The single use BBQ you can buy in your local supermarket is one of the most destructive things you can bring to a green space.

You may think you are leaving just a little bit of  burnt grass in a huge field. But multiply that space fiftyfold, you have a patchwork of depressing black patches. The grass doesn’t grow back in full for at least 6 months.

But aside from leaving unsightly dead patches, they also burn delicate flora that is buried between the grass. Small but important plants help support a diverse population of insects, butterflies and birds. Once burnt away these plants struggle to regrow under the ever expanding grass. So our butterfly, bee and insect population have one less place to forage, one less place to pollinate. They are all part of our food chain.

And after the BBQ’s are finished with – they are rarely discarded in a responsible manner. Left for dogs and children to discover –  the tin trays are sharp, and the charcoal gets scattered, making a space unusable to sit upon. The fire risk is real. The fire brigade have been called on a number of occasions. So what might seem like an enjoyable day out with a group of friends, enjoying freshly cooked food and drinks, leaves a trail of destruction on our environment. 

And single use BBQ’s are just that – Single use. Another throwaway item for the landfill, at a time when we are all becoming aware of our first world rubbish is having on the rest of the world.

Even BBQ’s on legs are not acceptable because who would ever think to bring their burnt offerings home? So we have to be very clear. BBQ and fires cannot occur on the Common. 

As BBQ’s come under Lambeth Bylaws [fires], there is a fine:  £500.

The noise nuisance, pollution & anti-social dept of Lambeth Council will respond to calls.
020 7926 5999 – office hours.
020 7926 1000 – after 5pm & weekends.
999 for any fire.

As we are all becoming more aware of our environment and our impact on it, it is worth knowing that 90% of charcoal is imported into this country. And it is coming from countries where the impact of deforestation is causing problems to those local populations and climate change. So if there is one thing you feel you can do for your planet – don’t bring your BBQ to your local greenspace.

Our parks are dealing with horrendous cuts, and it is a constant battle to keep our parks usable, clean and safe. Only 4 London Councils do allow BBQs. They have designated spaces, some you have to book a slot. But this means having good management and administration which needs a budget – and there lies the problem.

Please be respectful of our request not to hold BBQs anywhere on the common. A large part of Streatham Common is a designated nature reserve and needs our protection.



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