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Statement – Barbecues in Highbury Fields

Islington Council has agreed to introduce regulations on the use of barbecues in Highbury Fields, in a move that both protects the freedom of people who want to barbecue, and takes into account local concerns.

Barbecues will continue to be allowed in Highbury Fields, in a marked barbecue area on the west side of the field closest to Highbury & Islington station.  In order to better manage the situation, barbecues will also have to finish by 9pm.

People will be allowed to use all forms of barbecues, including disposable barbecues, and the council will continue to ask anyone having a barbecue to follow all safety advice and act responsibly in the best interests of others and the park. This includes advice on how to avoid damaging the grass and how to safely dispose of used barbecues.

The move follows an agreement reached with a group of people opposed to the council’s previous policy, which had allowed the public to barbecue responsibly in any part of the park.

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “Allowing barbecues in our parks has been very popular. Most of our residents do not have their own private space to enjoy a summer meal outdoors, and we want our parks to benefit everyone in the local community.

“I am pleased that we have found common ground with those who opposed our barbecue policy in Highbury Fields.  We have listened to them, taken account of their views, and made appropriate changes.

“The agreement secures our ambition to protect the freedom of people to have barbecues on the Fields, while also taking objections into account.

“As ever, we expect anyone who barbecues to do so responsibly, cleanly and safely, and these extra measures at Highbury Fields will help strengthen that.”

The new barbecue area will be marked out in Highbury Fields, and people will be asked to only barbecue here. Patrols by council officers and its contractor Parkguard will continue as normal.

The council will be consulting on the introduction of a byelaw regarding the use of BBQs on Highbury Fields before next summer.

 

Notes to editor

The byelaw will be made under section 15 of the Open Spaces Act 1906, regulating the use of barbecues in Highbury Fields.

Responsible barbecuing continues to be allowed in Islington’s parks.

Guidance on responsible barbecues can be found at https://www.islington.gov.uk/sports-parks-and-trees/parks-and-green-space/managing-parks-and-green-space/barbecues.