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Summer Countryside Safety

Summer Countryside Safety Advice

Every year fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness. Keep the glorious British countryside picture perfect ready for the summer months by following our straightforward advice.

  • Always extinguish your cigarette and any other smoking materials properly. Never throw your cigarettes out of your car window.
  • Donít leave bottles or glass in woodlands or in fact anywhere. Even during the months of summer the sunlight is strong enough to shine through glass and start large fires. Take them home or put them in the waste or recycling bin.
  • It may seem a good idea at the time, but a fire in the open can easily get out of control.
  • Keep children away from matches and cigarettes, and open fires.

Barbecues Safety

Barbecues 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 and/or drinking.

  • Check first with the landowner if fires and barbecues are permitted. Only have them in safe, designated areas
  • Only use barbecues in suitable and safe areas and never leave them unattended. Keep young people and ball games away from barbecues.
  • Ensure that your barbecue is fully extinguished and cold before disposing of the contents.
  • Stop young children playing around the barbecue area.

Heather and Grass Burning

Changes to the law affecting heather and grass burning in England were introduced on 1 October 2008. The Heather and Grass Burning Regulations were updated to cover the basic legal requirements that burners should meet. The new Regulations aim to cut red-tape for burners whilst introducing new protection for carbon rich soils.

An updated Heather and Grass Burning Code, developed in consultation with experts from farming and game shooting organisations, has also been launched. The Code aims to describe a standard of good practice and raise awareness of the new laws, helping burners to burn safely and in ways which can benefit wildlife. Best Practice Guides, offering specific advice in more detail than the Code, have also been produced.

For further details and practical guidance visit Natural England


If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately. Donít attempt to tackle fires that canít be put out with a bucket of water. Leave the area as soon as possible and dial 999.

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