I want to have a campfire on Southport beach in a few weeks as a small birthday celebration with some friends. I was wondering who I should contact to request permission to do so, as I know it's illegal to start a fire in England without the land owner's approval.

  • In case you missed it, this question is highly relevant: outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/1329/… – fgysin reinstate Monica Apr 11 '17 at 7:34
  • 1
    Ask for permission for an 'Anglo Saxon Cultural Cooking Fire' - too much of a political hot potato to be refused (sorry, for the bad pun). – user5330 Apr 11 '17 at 9:25
  • 1
    @Liam Does "past" mean below or above? – gerrit Apr 11 '17 at 10:53
  • 1
    I used past as I wasn't sure which was which :) @gerrit Basically so that when the tide comes in it washes away burnt wood, etc. I'd imagine this is reasonably environmentally friendly so long as your careful what you burn. – user2766 Apr 11 '17 at 12:16
  • 1
    @Liam very careful with what you burn! – Aravona Apr 12 '17 at 7:23

This boils down to who owns the land. To quote Liam's answer from this question:

The land between the high water mark and the low water mark is owned by the crown (crown reserves) in UK law. (ref) The land above the high water mark is owned by land owners, this may also be the crown if it's common land etc.

Any land owned by private land owners is subject to the land owners themselves. They could allow or disallow bonfires at their discretion. So if you want to build a bonfire here you should contact the landowner.

The law on bonfires on common land will be covered by the local by-laws of the council in question.

If the land is privately owned, you'll have to ask the owner.

If the land is publicly owned, you'll have to check local by-laws and/or check with local authorities. I'd assume that in such a case the police should be able to either give you an answer directly, or at least point you to whoever can. (Just in case this isn't obvious: don't call the police on their emergency number, but look up the non-emergency number for the local police station online.)

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    +1 to asking the police. Most police stations have a non-emergency direct phone number you can dial, so call the Southport Police station and ask them about any laws concerning campfires. It is worth noting however that a bonfire is very different thing to a campfire. You could never have a bonfire at Reading Festival, for example, but campfires are perfectly fine. – SGR Apr 11 '17 at 13:07

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.