The Burning Issue on Fife’s Beaches

Publish Date: Thursday August 25, 2022

The Burning Issue on Fife’s Beaches

Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT) are urging beach-goers to beware of the dangers that are left behind after fires on the sand in their campaign #unpalletable.

A fire, not properly extinguished, can still burn away under the sand for quite some time. And the embers can hold their heat for much longer than you would expect. Pallets – a popular choice of firewood – are especially hazardous long after the fire has been extinguished.

The Trust’s Access and Recreation Manager, Tom Quayle, explained: “The average wooden pallet holds around 60 nails sometimes up to 100mm long. Movements of the sand quickly cover and hide the nails and the ashes. But the nails remain, lurking menacingly just below the surface of the sands.

“Beach fires are often built on or near areas of high footfall which only increases the risks to the unwary. Like children, dogs, swimmers, surfers, horse riders, volleyball players or those just enjoying the feeling of sand between their toes.

Enjoy summertime

“One of life’s little pleasures is sitting on the beach enjoying a fire with friends. We want Fifers to enjoy summertime at the beach but just be aware of the potential hazards from fires.”

The Trust are also urging local businesses to consider how their used pallets are disposed of and where they end up. Fife Council can accept wooden pallets, from commercial operations, at Lower Melville Wood near Ladybank, Thornton Transfer Station and at Lochhead near Dunfermline. Or the council can provide collection options throughout Fife.

A householder can visit any of the council’s 11 household waste recycling centres and dispose of pallets in the wood containers, as long as they are brought in an authorised vehicle. Read more about the council’s recycling centre access policy: Bins & Recycling | Fife Council

Keep an eye out for more information on posters and the Trust’s social media at #unpalletable.

You can learn more about how to safely light a fire in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.


Nails left behind after a pallet fire



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