Published: Monday, 3rd Oct 2022

Barbeques, fireworks and Chinese lanterns could be banned from moorland under new proposals put forward by Bolton Council.

The plan, designed to reduce the risk of devastating wildfires, would create a Public Spaces Protection Order covering moorland areas of the borough.

Anyone found using the prohibited items, which would also include campfires and camping stoves, would face a fine of up £1,000.

If approved the restrictions would only apply to land to which the public have access. 

The council is now launching a consultation so that people can give their views on the plan.

Details are available on the council website, along with a map of the area that the proposals would cover.

Bolton Council is coordinating with neighbouring councils in Chorley and Blackburn with Darwen, which are responsible for adjoining areas of moorland.

Wildfires happen regularly on moorland in the Pennines, including the Winter Hill fire in the summer of 2018.

Most are caused by human activity. BBQs, campfires, fireworks, Chinese lanterns, discarded cigarettes and broken glass – which can act like a magnifying glass – are some of the leading causes.

Wildfires can tie up huge resources for days at a time. At the height of the moorland fires in 2018, 220 firefighters, 100 soldiers, 57 fire engines and a helicopter were in operation across the region.

The consultation is open to everyone and the council wants to hear from as many people as possible. In particular, people who live on or near the moors, local businesses and organisations and people who visit the area for walks and recreation.

Bolton Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Hilary Fairclough, said: 

“Moorland wildfires are a major concern. They are expensive to control, damage farmland and impact tourism and local businesses.

“They can also destroy precious habitats, kill plants and animals, cause significant air and water pollution, release large amounts of greenhouse gases, and have a huge impact on residents and communities.

“But before introducing any restrictions, it’s important that we understand whether or not people support them and how people might be affected. I encourage everyone who has a point of view to let us know what they think.”

The online survey, along with all the relevant information, is at

To request a paper copy of the survey or documents, please email, or call 01204 334 875 and leave your name, address, telephone number and the name of the consultation (Moorlands PSPO).

The deadline for responses is Sunday, November 6, 2022.