Shocking pictures highlight a dramatic stand-off between security marshals and a gang determined to set an illegal barbecue at a premier Oldham beauty spot.
The incident at Dovestones happened just 48 hours before Oldham and Tameside councils announced plans to launch a consultation banning barbecues and fires on moors.
Their move comes in a bid to protect huge swathes of land following devastating fires which destroyed wildlife and hundreds of acres of valuable moorland habitat.
The councils are seeking to introduce two Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) which would lead to on the spot £90 fixed penalty fines for offenders and ban barbecues, fireworks and sky lanterns from the areas.
Failure to pay the fine could lead to prosecution through the courts.
But last weekend, two Dovestone Marshals from the Protec Security Group, faced a head on confrontation with 15-strong gang carrying a large drum barbecue from Dovestones car park.
Elvin Lucas, Protec’s owner, said: “We stopped the group who said they could not see any signs saying barbecues were banned. We were joined by members of Dovestone Sailing club and public who explained the situation.
“But the group walked on set up the barbecue near the memorial gardens. We called police and the fire brigade arrived.
“When the group saw the firefighters, they ran off up a hillside, found another site, and lit the barbecue. But the fire brigade did a brilliant job and intervened again.
“However, after the firefighters left, the group relit and barbecue and the following morning we visited the scene and cleared the mess with help from sailing club members.
“It’s all very frustrating,” he added. “There are signs warning of the barbeques ban and we are on hand at weekends to explain the reasons why.”
Oldham and Tameside Councils formal consultation on the proposed PSPOs will run from Monday (8th July) to Monday 5th August with councillors, stakeholders and residents able to submit comments on the proposals.
Details of how to submit a comment are included in the Notices of Proposed Orders and it is important that any person wanting to submit a comment follows the instructions on how to do this.
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