BBQs Burn More Than Bangers

A campaign to prevent heathland wildfire by raising awareness that it is illegal to BBQ on heathland, while reducing the impact of BBQ-related litter in Dorset’s open spaces. 

Within Dorset there are 8,500 hectares of heathland, the majority of which have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI); Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs).

Heathlands have high levels of animal and plant biodiversity and are home to many bird species of international importance, including the breeding Nightjar, Woodlark and Dartford Warbler, plus wintering raptors, such as merlin and hen harrier. Also found on Dorset’s heathlands are all six species of native British reptiles, the southern damselfly and some rare invertebrates, for example the Pubeck mason wasp, ladybird spider, heath tiger beetle and heath bee-fly.

Heathlands attract lots of visitors throughout the year and most really respect the heathland. However, some do not realise that barbecuing on heathland is illegal.

Barbecues are a major source of heathland wildfire which destroy wildlife, negatively impact the surrounding communities, and contribute to climate change.

Litter Free Dorset are working alongside the Urban Heath Partnership and the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to raise awareness that it is illegal to barbecue on heathland and are encouraging the use of barbecues only in safe, designated, local spots instead!

What is the problem?

An ember from a barbecue can result in a heathland wildfire. Wind, dry gorse and undergrowth can rapidly spread a wildfire.

  • Barbecues are illegal on heathlands

  • Wildfire can have devastating effects on wildlife and vegetation – it can take up to 25 years for a heathland to recover from a fire

  • The burning of heathlands releases carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming and climate change

  • There is risk of fire spreading beyond the heathland, damaging and destroying the homes of nearby local communities

  • Risk of lives lost!

Want to help?

Help us by not barbecuing on Dorset’s heathlands – please pack a picnic or visit one of our recommended, designated, safe barbecuing spots instead!


When barbecuing at a designated spot, please remember to:

  1. Check your barbecue meets the stipulations of your intended destination

  2. Before setting up make sure you are actually in the designated barbecuing area

  3. Make sure your barbecue is placed on a flat surface raised above the ground, e.g. on a brick, to prevent damage to the ground below

  4. Always follow the instructions on the packaging when lighting your barbecue. Never add extra lighting agents or fuel, or attempt to refill it with additional coal

  5. Ensure you extinguish your barbecue properly and let it cool down before packing away

  6. Please dispose of your barbecue correctly and take all your rubbish home with you


If you see a fire or anti-social behaviour being committed on heathland, or anywhere else:

  • Get to safety

  • Note the location of the incident

  • Call 999

  • Meet the Fire and Rescue Service at the site entrance

  • Do NOT attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water


Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue
Urban Heath Partnership

Get Involved!

Litter Free Dorset would like to invite everyone to support the #BBQsBurnMoreThanBangers campaign

  1. Follow the campaign via social media @LitterFreeDrst Share, Like, Comment!

  2.  #BBQsBurnMoreThanBangers #SpreadLoveNotWildfire

  3. Print off a poster from our resource hub to stick in your window at home, in your shop or in your car!

  4. Report any illegal heathland BBQs that you see

Click to view campaign materials >

Spread Love Not Wildfire