North East Lincolnshire Council is calling on people to respect the area’s parks as the lockdown eases.
This week is Love Parks Week and local parks have been a lifeline for many people during the coronavirus pandemic.
Play areas closed as part of the lockdown but started reopening again from Saturday 4 July. The play areas in the main parks opened first.
Parks are there for everyone to enjoy, but a small number of people are spoiling them by leaving litter and lighting barbecues and fires.
Barbecues and open fires can quickly get out of control and put people at risk, especially when the ground is dry.
Disposable barbecues leave grass scorched and can easily tip over if not used correctly.
Barbecues are banned on the beach. The sand underneath the barbecue remains dangerously hot hours after it has gone out. Hot disposable barbecues should not be discarded in litter bins.
Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport at North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“With so many people visiting and enjoying spending time in our parks, it’s shocking to see how some people are treating them.
“The coronavirus pandemic has shown how much people value their local parks and how vital they are for our physical and mental health.
“Coronavirus is still very much a threat, and like many organisations, we still face immense challenges to keep essential services running during the pandemic.
“It’s enjoyable to eat outside when the weather is warm, but it’s safer for everyone if you avoid barbecue food.
“The last thing we need is people needlessly messing up our parks or starting fires.
“That’s why we’re calling on everyone to do their bit to keep parks clean and tidy.
“You can help by not having barbecues and by putting your litter in a bin or taking it home if the bins are full.”
If you are eating or drinking in the parks, don’t leave your rubbish where you’ve been sitting and don’t fill the bins with it – take it home with you.
Tips for lighting barbecues safely
A barbecue should be a safe and enjoyable experience but it’s all too easy to be distracted when you have friends and family around you whilst cooking. To avoid injuries or damage to property, follow these simple precautions:
- Make sure your barbecue is in good working order
- Ensure the barbecue is on a flat site, not on the grass, and well away from park furniture, trees or shrubs
- Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area
- Never leave the barbecue unattended
- Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies
- Check the barbecue is cool before attempting to move it
(Source: Fire service)