The BMC have launched a 'No Moor BBQs' campaign, after countless devastating moorland fires. They are calling on the government to criminalise the use of disposable barbeques on open moorland, with a severe penalty for anyone caught.
The campaign argues that 'the time has come for stronger national legislation to prevent this happening and to protect our moorland landscapes. Currently, the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW), local by-laws and local protection orders govern fires on open moorland but stronger legislation is needed.'
Already this year, and despite lockdown, National Park Authorities have issued multiple statements asking people to avoid using barbeques at all costs. The return of large numbers of people in England to National Parks at the end of May coincided with a huge spike in moorland fires which caused extensive environmental damage.
The BMC reports that over the weekend of 30th May 2020, 'more than 20 significant moorland and grassland fires were reported' and that since 2007, 'it is estimated that over 77km2 of moorland in the Peak District alone, has been destroyed as a result of wildfires.'
This follows calls from the Peak District National Park Authority urging retailers and petrol stations across the park to remove all disposable barbeques from sale.
2019 was rocked by a huge fire on Marsden Moor in West Yorkshire, which burnt through over 15km2 of moorland. According to the National Trust, the fire was likely to have been started by a barbecue. This was one of 137 wildfires larger than 25 hectares recorded in 2019 alone.