Don’t let some bright spark ruin your park!

After a spate of fires in the last few weeks across our local parks, residents and visitors to the borough are being urged to remember that barbecues and fires are not permitted in any of our parks.

Three parks have suffered damage from fires recently, Hawker Hill, Upton Court Park, and another small fire at Bloom Park. Barbecues and fires are not allowed in any of Slough’s parks, woodlands, and open spaces. The recent extremely dry conditions make lighting any fires outdoors dangerous. If you see anyone lighting fires in any of Slough’s parks and open spaces, please report this to the police.

As well as Barbeques and fires, discarded cigarettes and glass bottles (these can act like a magnifying glass) can also cause dangerous fires to break out. A glass bottle was believed to have caused the recent Hawker Hill fire.

On 9 August the fire service attended a fire at Upton Court Park. The crew were from Ascot as both appliances from Slough and the one from Langley were attending incidents elsewhere. John Knight, highways operative at the council, who was driving a water tanker at the time, also arrived at the scene and was able to unlock the gates and bollards for the neighbouring fire service and assist with extra water, around 4,000 litres from his tanker, saving valuable time and stopping the fire spreading further to nearby trees.

Richie Sage, Watch Manager, Green Watch, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “Maybe it was luck that John was there at the time of the incident, but his knowledge, professionalism and support benefitted both of our organisations for this incident, and enabled us to give a prompt and effective response which reduced damage to the grass and trees and in turn reducing the impact to the environment.”

Please help to save resources, time, the environment and potentially lives by being responsible in our parks and open spaces.

Cllr Mohammed Nazir, lead member for transport and the local environment, said: “We are experiencing such a long dry spell at the moment, and the ground is more vulnerable than ever to fires breaking out, by even a tiny spark. Please respect our valuable parks and open spaces by obeying the park byelaws and not using barbecues or fires in our parks. Please be vigilant when disposing of cigarettes and glass bottles and dispose of all waste responsibly.”

Published: 16 August 2022