SHOPS and garages in the New Forest have been praised for refusing to sell disposable barbecues.

As reported in the Daily Echo, at least 18 outlets have taken them off their shelves in a bid to reduce the risk of visitors accidentally starting forest fires.

It follows a campaign launched earlier this month by the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

NPA member David Harrison said: "I think it's great that a large number of local retailers have responded to the National Park Authority's request and stopped selling disposable barbecues.

"It's now illegal to use these items in the Forest because of the very real threat posed by them."

Cllr Harrison said disposable barbecues were often left behind because they were too hot to pick up and take home after being used.

He added: "Not everyone douses them with water afterwards, and even if they do the item is often left as litter."