Savages Wood at risk from youths’ campfires say police

Savages Wood Outdoor Classroom

Police in Bradley Stoke have raised concerns over the lighting of campfires in Savages Wood, part of the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve.

PC Steven Palmer told the April meeting of the Bradley Stoke Safer & Stronger Community Group (SSCG) that youths have been accessing the woodland via a gate near the skate park and have lit campfires in the ‘outdoor classroom’ in the middle of the woods. A recent incident saw the Avon Fire & Rescue Service being called to extinguish a fire, he added.

The ‘outdoor classroom’ was created in 2005 by the Three Brooks Nauture Conservation Group and is intended for use by groups of schoolchildren on organised visits to the nature reserve.

SSCG Chairperson Julie Snelling pointed out that a recently published government policy document had suggested that children be allowed to play with fire (presumably under adult supervision), but PC Palmer said the youths’ actions were “considered dangerous” and “should not be encouraged”.

Bradley Stoke Town Council discussed the matter at the February meeting of its Finance & Leisure Committee, where it was suggested that the lack of shelter at the skate park might be a factor in encouraging youths to enter the woods.

The Council is now looking into the possibility of providing a ‘teen shelter’ at the skate park and is even considering re-using some of its old bus shelters, recently taken out of service after South Gloucestershire Council upgraded shelters on the number 73 bus route.

Should young people be allowed to light campfires in the nature reserve? Use our comments facility to share your views.

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  1. I know some of the lads who are going into the wood and having fires – BBQ-ing bacon, sausages etc. Its a part of being an older child.

    I did exactly the same in the woods at Patchway. Maybe a facility where they can do this in safety (brick built BBQ) by the skatepark would make a difference. The younger child is catered for very well in the area but not this age range who want to ‘do their own thing’.

  2. I wouldn’t have a problem with them doing that K, if they cleared up after themselves when they had finished. The outdoor classroom is often full of litter including broken glass, not very nice to take groups of kids to.

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