WANNABE BBQers are being warned to leave their portable cookers at home when they take to the Malvern Hills.

Following weeks of dry weather, much for the vegetation on the hills and commons has dried out, increasing the risk of wildfires starting and spreading quickly.

Beck Baker, community and conservation officer at the Malvern Hills Trust, said: “We’re asking people to leave their BBQ’s at home as they aren’t permitted anywhere on the hills and commons due to the risk they pose for potentially starting wildfires.

"In recent months we’ve seen an increase in the use of BBQ’s, including on Castlemorton Common.”

The image above shows the aftermath of a recent portable BBQ getting out of control on Castlemorton Common.

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Beck added: "A wildfire on the hills and commons could put the public, grazing livestock and nearby residential properties at risk as well as damaging the nationally important and scarce species and habitats on the hills.

“Our wardens are regularly patrolling the Hills and Commons to keep people safe.

"As BBQ’s are not permitted at any time on land under our care, any BBQ’s seen by wardens will be immediately extinguished.

“Wildfires often don’t start by themselves, and the majority of wildfires are started by people either accidentally or deliberately. We’re asking people to remain vigilant and act responsibly in the warm, dry weather."

Visitors are also being asked to reduce the chance of wildfires by extinguishing cigarettes properly and never throwing cigarette ends on the ground.

Firefighters battled a fire on the hills in 2018, which Hereford and Worcester Fire station commander Thom Morgan said was caused by a disposable barbecue, near West of England Quarry.

More than 100 firefighters 13 vehicles from seven station were deployed to fight the fire.

The inferno destroyed five acres of grass and shrubbery, but no injuries to the firefighters or public were sustained.

Anyone who sees a fire should call 999 immediately, as early detection can prevent a fire becoming much more dangerous, serious, and uncontrollable wildfire.