The public has been instructed to not have barbecues at Port Meadow over the weekend, as officers will fine those who fall foul of the rules.

With warm weather expected to hit over the weekend, Oxford City Council has issued advice for those thinking of heading down to Port Meadow to enjoy the sunshine.

For those thinking of lightning a fire at Port Meadow or starting a barbecue, the council has warned the area is covered by a Public Space Protection Order which bans these activities.

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Oxford Mail: Wild swimming in Oxford Wild swimming in Oxford (Image: Eleanor Blyth)

The council warned that officers will be ready to issues fines if these rules are not adhered to.

There are static picnic benches and BBQs near the Godstow Road entrance which can be used.

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Picnics are also welcome elsewhere but the council has advised to be careful of cattle and horses.

With many likely to be tempted to go for a swim to cool off, the council has pointed to its Wild Water Code for advice.

The main advice issued in this code includes the following:

  • “Don’t just jump into a river thinking it will be like your local swimming pool; the weather may be hot, but the water can be far colder.
  • "Cold water can cause shock, affect your breathing, and make you tired quickly.
  • "There may also be strong currents and submerged hazards. Never leap into the unknown.
  •  “You cannot see the hidden dangers – from broken glass, dumped bicycles, rocks, weed or items that you can become tangled in.
  • “Particularly after rain, the current can be strong but also washes pollutants from roads and fields.”
  •  “It’s easy to jump in, but is there somewhere you can get out easily? Banks can be steep and slippery; only realising this after you get into difficulty will cause further panic and can mean the difference between life and death.
  • “Drownings often occur because the person is under the influence of drink or drugs.
  • “Even small amounts of alcohol or other substances, combined with cold can create a fatal cocktail.
  • “Don’t jump from the bridges in Oxford; the water is just too shallow and there are many hidden dangers.
  • “Some risk in life is good but jumping from a bridge into shallow water is likely to end your life or change it for ever.
  • "A number of people have drowned in the city after being swept into flooded rivers when trying to walk or cycle along partially submerged towpaths.
  • "River banks can also collapse under these conditions, but be invisible below the water. Even good swimmers will have little chance in a river in full flood.
  • “In the event of an emergency dial 999 immediately. Ask for the Fire Service if someone is in trouble in the water. They will call the ambulance too.”

The council has also encouraged the public to take litter away from the Port Meadow area, as broken glass can be dangerous for horses and cows on the meadow.