Hard-hitting order to tackle yob behaviour comes into force at Clipstone beauty spot

A hard-hitting order banning folk from lighting bonfires or setting off fireworks at a much-loved Clipstone beauty spot is now in place.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 7:10 pm

The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) has been introduced following a catalogue of fire-related incidents and unruly behaviour at Clipstone’s Vicar Water Country Park.

Earlier this month litter louts left takeaway packaging, bottles, cans and litter strewn across an area of the park, while there has been a number of arson attacks and fires sparked by discarded barbecues.

Coun David Lloyd, Newark & Sherwood District Council leader, said: “Sadly, Vicar Water has been subject to not only littering, but also some appalling acts of fire damage in recent years and while small barbecues may not appear hazardous, they really are a considerable fire risk to the park and its heathland.

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A bench burned out at Vicar Water Country Park

"Signage in the park clearly states that barbecues are not allowed and we are taking it one step further with the new PSPO.

“We want our parks to be safe places that can be enjoyed and the new order will give more officers the power to tackle such irresponsible behaviour before it escalates and causes more lasting damage.”

The park has been subject to fire damage on numerous occasions during lockdown.

In June, fire crews were called after an illegal firework display caused fires to two special areas of heath and the park was strewn with litter, used fireworks and the remains of a fire following Bonfire Night. A wooden bench and historical signage were also burnt-out.

The PSPO specifies that ‘a person or persons are prohibited from the following activities being: the lighting of fires; barbecues; Chinese lanterns, fireworks; or using any article/object which causes a naked flame and which poses a risk of fire’.

It affects the park, with three small exclusion areas around the fishing lake to allow smoking by angling club members who remain in the park for an extended amount of time, to allow smoking in the main car park and to allow smoking on the patio area at the rear of the visitor centre café.

Anybody who fails to comply with the PSPO could be hit with a £100 fine.