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Highbury Fields barbecue fallout: ‘Burning sausages are invading our homes’

PUBLISHED: 13:31 01 June 2016 | UPDATED: 15:00 26 May 2017

Up in smoke: Highbury Fields pictured in summer last year. Picture: Stephanie Knight

Up in smoke: Highbury Fields pictured in summer last year. Picture: Stephanie Knight

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An action group last night launched a petition to ban barbecues in Highbury Fields.

The row erupted after the weekend’s hot weather saw “countless” disposable barbecues on the popular green space.

Nearby homeowners are sick of “burning sausage” smell wafting through windows, while the Save Highbury Fields group argue barbecues release toxic particle PM2.5 into the air.

Islington Council overturned a previous barbecue ban in 2011.

Environment leader Cllr Claudia Webbe stood by that decision this week, arguing most people in Islington “don’t have have their own garden” to enjoy barbecues.

But Stephanie Knight, a former environmental journalist from the Save Highbury Fields group which launched the petition, said today: “Equally, there are just as many who want to enjoy fresh air and sunshine to escape the pollution of this city.

“Whenever there’s a heat wave, you see in the media: ‘Go to Highbury Fields for a barbecue this weekend.’ We accept it is a destination, but it has got increasingly intense. More and more people are coming with barbecues.

“If there are four, that’s fine. But now there are so many that you can’t even count. We feel we are being invaded by the smell of burning sausages.”

Cllr Webbe said: “Lifting the barbecue ban has been incredibly popular. Most people living in Islington don’t have a garden, and this gives everyone a chance to enjoy their own barbecue with friends and family in our open spaces.

“While we accept that on a small number of days of the year this does cause an increase in smoke, we believe it is a worthwhile trade-off to ensure people are able to use and enjoy their local parks over the summer.”

To view the petition, visit: you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-highbury-fields?bucket=

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