Fire safety in the New Forest

Fire ban in the New Forest

Fires, BBQs (including purpose built and disposable BBQs), and outdoor cooking equipment (including stoves) are all banned within the New Forest.

Wildfires have the potential to completely devastate and destroy – as we saw in nearby Wareham Forest three years ago in a fire believed to have been started by disposable BBQs that blazed for over two weeks and destroyed a huge area. Help us stop it from happening here and keep the New Forest safe for everyone.

Fineable offence

It is a fineable offence to light:

  • Fires of any type
  • BBQs (including purpose built and disposable BBQs)
  • Any outdoor cooking facilities or equipment including stoves

It also an offence to place, throw or drop items likely to cause a fire such as lit cigarettes.

Anyone failing to comply with these bans can be served with a fixed penalty fine of £100 rising to £1,000 following a successful prosecution. Find out more.

What do I do if I see a fire or BBQ?

  • If you see a fire or unattended BBQs or cooking equipment, get to a safe place and call 999 immediately.
  • If you can, use What3Words to give the fire service an exact location

To report non-emergency use of fire, BBQs or outdoor cooking equipment you can call 0300 067 4600 (24 hrs). The call handler will pass the details to our Duty Officer. This information will help inform our routine patrols and build up a picture of priority locations.

Please note this is not a call out service and it will not necessarily be possible to attend every incident. We do routinely patrol to target this type of activity and inform the public on fire safety and how they can help to look after this special place.

Can I still use cooking facilities within a campervan in the forest?

BBQs and outdoor portable cooking equipment are not permitted anywhere on the Forest and this includes use within or close to vehicles. Inbuilt facilities within the campervan itself can be used but these must not extend outside of the vehicle. All waste materials must be taken away to be disposed and not left on the Forest or within car parks.

Can BBQs be used at the official Camping New Forest sites in the New Forest?

There is an exemption for Forestry England owned campsites within the New Forest - those operated by Camping New Forest at Aldridge, Ashurst, Denny Wood, Hollands Wood, Holmsley, Longbeech, Ocknell, Roundhills, and Setthorns.

The campsites are managed and patrolled areas and have a series of fire measures in place including metal containers for hot coals to ensure their correct and safe disposal, water points and fire-fighting equipment, and regular patrols by campsite staff. Only BBQs and stoves that are purpose built and raised off the ground are permitted at these sites. Disposable BBQs are not permitted.