Organised public firework displays and bonfire parties across west Dorset are being cancelled this year due to restrictions stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

With mass gatherings prohibited across the country, event organisers in west Dorset are declaring bonfire and firework events are simply not feasible this year.

The display at Bridport Leisure Centre is one of many which will not be going ahead. Organisers of the event, which generates funds for a number of worthy causes, have cancelled the display as they don’t want to encourage crowds.

Simon Wakely of Bridport Round Table said: “It’s sad really for us and for the public but it’s a sign of the times really. Large gatherings are just not really an option this year.

“Regretfully, we feel it’s not in the interests of the public to run an event of this magnitude and we feel it would be irresponsible of us to encourage large gatherings.”

The popular Lyme Regis display which traditionally attracts large crowds of people will also not be taking place.

One of the organisers, Alan Vian, said: “Obviously some events, such as our firework display, have been curtailed or cancelled because of the virus. We’re remaining positive and looking forward to a great autumn and a great Christmas.

"Some of our other events (in Lyme Regis) may take a slightly different form but we will make decisions closer to the time as we don’t know which way the virus is going to go.”

Bonfire on the Beach at West Bay, Charmouth firework display and the Beaminster Big Bang will also not be going ahead due to the feasibility of holding these events with social distancing restrictions.

Be safe and avoid taking risks if partying at home

Emergency services are preparing for a busy time during fireworks and bonfire season as people celebrate at home due to organised events being cancelled.

The agencies are encouraging Dorset residents to be safe and avoid taking risks which could put additional pressure on emergency services.

The fire service advises people to plan firework displays in advance, light fireworks at arm's length and never return to fireworks once they have been lit. People should always follow the Fireworks Code.

The ambulance service advises anyone who gets burned to cool the burn with cold running water for 20 minutes and cover it with clingfilm. If the burn is large or it blisters, go to a hospital accident and emergency department.

Dorset Police are urging people to stick to the rule of six and abide by laws surrounding fireworks.

Superintendent Heather Dixey said: "Meeting in a group of more than six people, indoors or outdoors including children of any age, is against the law.

"You must be over 18 to purchase fireworks and it is illegal to set off or throw fireworks - including sparklers - in the street or other public places.

"You can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to six months for selling or using fireworks illegally, and there’s also an on-the-spot fine of £90."