A handful of UK beaches are installing BBQs for the public to use for free
They're being put in along the Bournemouth and Poole seafront in an attempt to reduce disposable waste
A barbecue on the beach. Who could resist that on a hot summer's day? It's one of the best ways to have some good food and some good fun with your family and/or friends. However, councils aren't always fond of them because of the amount of waste people can end up leaving behind once they're done. There's also the danger of them being a fire risk, something which can be exacerbated if enough material is around to potentially cause a big blaze. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council are one of those councils that are actively trying to tackle this problem. One method that they're introducing is to install communal barbecues that members of the public can use for free!
The current plan is for a two-week trial run of 6 communal barbecues. These trial barbecues will be installed at Fisherman's Walk, Branksome Chine and just east of Bournemouth Pier and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The barbecues are all made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel and will be pre-timed to turn on and off automatically. Whilst the barbecues will be cleaned by council staff on a regular basis, the council is expecting anyone who uses them to wipe the barbecues down themselves after using them.
Communal barbecues aren't a new concept. You can find them in many seaside towns and cities in Australia and both residents and tourists take full advantage of them! With them being so successful elsewhere, it's unsurprising that BCP Council are keen to give them a go on British soil. It's also likely to be a much more palatable option to local residents than what was previously suggested, which was to ban disposable barbecues from the beaches completely. This suggestion came after a number of recent fires that were believed to have been started by disposable barbecues or camp fires. This included a massive blaze in Wareham Forest that took nearly 2 weeks to extinguish.
"We want to provide more amenities on the beach so that residents and visitors to the area can enjoy the beach safely," said BCP Council leader Cllr Drew Mellor. "It shouldn’t just be beach hut owners who can have barbecues on the promenade next to the beach, these are open to everyone. We have seen them work very well in Australia and we feel it is a real investment for the conurbation."
Cllr Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, has also welcomed the introduction of the new communal barbecues. "Communal barbecues have worked successfully in other resorts and we’re glad to introduce them here. They’re a free-to-use alternative to disposal barbecues. To the extent they’re taken up, we’ll reduce litter, injuries, water pollution and fire hazards on the beach – helping everyone enjoy a safer and more relaxing stay in our resort."
Disposable barbecues will still be allowed on the beaches where the council-supplied communal units will be installed between 6 pm and 10:30 pm, but those using them are asked to dispose of them safely and responsibly.