People spotted using disposable barbecues on heath prompts warning

Warning as people are seen using portable barbeques on Mousehold Heath. 

Warning as people are seen using portable barbeques on Mousehold Heath. - Credit: Submitted/Gary Champion

The parched ground at Mousehold Heath has prompted a plea to visitors not to use disposable barbecues at the moment.

It comes after droves of fires broke out across Norfolk during the heatwave with many people losing their homes.

One of the worst impacted villages in Norwich was Poringland on the outskirts of the city, where two people lost their homes.

Those living in the Mousehold area - particularly near the heathland - told this paper they are worried a fire may break out having seen people using disposable barbecues on the heath.

They feared because the grass is so dry a blaze could quickly spread.

Gary Champion, Green councillor for Sewell Ward and a member of Mousehold Conservators, said: “Mousehold Heath has specific bylaws that state no person can light a fire except in designated areas for barbecues.  

“I would urge people not to use disposable barbecues on Mousehold Heath during such dry weather.

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"A stray ember can quickly become very dangerous and result in disastrous consequences for wildlife and people.” 

The city council also advised people not to use portable barbecues while the weather is still so warm.

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: “We want to protect our green spaces and make sure they are safe for visitors and for people who live nearby.

“Using a barbecue or lighting a fire in any of Norwich’s parks and open spaces is not permitted without written consent from the council. 

“As part of the Mousehold Heath management plan and with support from community volunteers, large stands of leggy gorse have been reduced in size and fire breaks created in recent years, to minimise the risk of fires spreading. 

“Our teams regularly patrol and inspect these spaces for fire risks and would encourage the public to report any issues they see through to us via the website or over the phone, or to contact the police or fire services in an emergency.”