We are calling on households to think of their neighbours and avoid lighting bonfires during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It follows an influx of concerns raised across the country and locally of problems caused by bonfire smoke for people with breathing difficulties and those suffering with coronavirus.
Bonfire smoke can already have a harmful effect on people with health problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis, so it will also cause significant problems for people suffering with coronavirus symptoms.
As more people are following the government’s advice and staying at home they will need to keep their windows open to get some fresh air, so please spare a thought for those with respiratory problems or coronavirus symptoms. We need people to think about their neighbours and how they might suffer if you light a bonfire in your garden or allotment, even barbecue smoke could create problems for those nearby.
During these unprecedented times, please consider your neighbours and avoid bonfires if at all possible.
It is not an offence to light a garden bonfire. It is however an offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to cause a statutory smoke nuisance.
A statutory nuisance happens when smoke causes unreasonable interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of their property. Smoke nuisance can occur at any time of the day or night.
Please use our online form to report bonfires that are causing a statutory nuisance.
It’s much better for your neighbours and the environment to compost garden waste instead of burning it.
There aren’t specific laws against having a bonfire or when you can have one – but there are Acts that deal with the nuisance they can cause.
Here is a list of what you can or can’t burn:
Under the Highways Act 1980, anyone lighting a fire and allowing smoke to drift across a road faces a fine if it endangers traffic. If this happens please call the police.
A bonfire may be the only way of disposing of garden waste that shouldn’t be composted, like diseased wood but the smoke and smell created by a bonfire can annoy your neighbours.