There is no law against having bonfires and there are no set times restricting when they can be lit, though it is an offence for the smoke to cause a statutory nuisance. Smoke from bonfires in a residential area can seriously affect the enjoyment of being outdoors for other people and can also affect them inside their homes. It can also contribute to local air pollution levels and in some locations, reduce visibility on nearby roads.
We encourage all residents to be considerate of their local communities and the environment by not having bonfires and using clean fuel for domestic heating. The coronavirus is known to cause serious respiratory problems, which could be made much worse if the sufferer is exposed to smoke from bonfires.
Bonfires can also become out of control or cause accidents, creating extra pressure on the already busy emergency services.
Before you have a bonfire, please consider the more environmentally friendly ways to dispose of your waste, either in your regular household collections, or if its garden waste, by creating a compost area in your garden.
If you are affected regularly by smoke in your home and/or garden you can report this to the council using the Environmental Health complaint form. You will need to keep a diary of the smoke incidents which affect you over a period of two weeks. To help us investigate, we will need details of:
- The date and time the bonfires are held.
- How long they last each time.
- The address of where they are happening.
- How it affects your use and enjoyment of your home and garden.
If you have garden waste, ideally this should be: