Waterlow Park BBQs: New zones introduced, but campaigner wants them banned completely

Picnic at Waterlow Park 3

Waterlow Park - Credit: Archant

Like it or not, summer in London brings with it barbecues in the park.

Waterlow Park in Highgate has long been a prime location, but this year the Friends of Waterlow Park and Camden Council are trialling a system which will limit grilling to two specified locations, in hope of cutting disruption and minimising complaints.

But one campaigner feels this doesn't go far enough, and is launching a petition to have them completely banned.

Annie Rigby told this newspaper she was concerned about the location of the new barbecue zones, and that the council needed to act more decisively to tackle the climate crisis.

The two zones are to the park's south, next to the middle and lower ponds respectively.

Annie who lives locally, said: "My main thing is we have such bad pollution everywhere - I want

Citing global warming, Annie added: "We should be ending all of this. It's no use doing things slowly. Our house is on fire, people need to wake up."

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Fiona Murphy, who chairs the Friends of Waterlow Park, said: "The main thing now is to see how the idea will bed down. "We will badly need to see at the end of this year the difference it has made.

"Camden are very pro having barbecues, otherwise we wouldn't be in this postion. People are very entrenched in their views."

She said there have been problems with damage caused by disposable barbecues in the past - these are banned, re-usable grills must be used.

Fiona said there "hadn't been a huge amount of choice" as to where the zones would be.

Camden's environmental chief Cllr Adam Harrison said: "We have been working with the Waterlow Park Trust advisory group on a new approach to using barbecues in the park.

"We want to balance how the park is used so that everyone can enjoy its excellent facilities."

"Over the coming weeks we will be putting up signs in the park clearly showing people where they can and cannot barbecue, and will also update the park noticeboards."

Barbecues are already banned on Hampstead Heath and in Primrose Hill and Regent's Park - as they are not administered by Camden Council.

The zoning trial runs from July 1.