Bonfires and nuisance smoke
Complaint about a bonfire or nuisance smoke
There are no bylaws about garden fires, however, if it is causing a statutory nuisance, we can both do something about it. For a bonfire to be classed as a nuisance, the smoke will have to be affecting you in your home and/or garden and it will need to be taking place roughly two or three times a week.
If you feel comfortable, speaking to the person or business to let them know the bonfire is causing a nuisance could be the best course of action. If it continues, and its affecting your enjoyment of your home or garden, you can make a complaint.
Report a problem online
You can report a domestic garden bonfire by filling in our online domestic bonfire complaint form.
If you are being affected by black smoke from an industrial or building site or its a commercial property, then we or the Environment Agency can investigate and potentially take action against the offender.
To report a business, industrial, trade waste or building site bonfire, you can fill in our commercial bonfire online complaint form.
Advice if you’re thinking of having a bonfire
COVID-19 update – we’re urging people not to light bonfires during the pandemic. This is because breathing in smoke can impair a person’s oxygen intake and, with more people remaining at home, lighting a bonfire could cause someone to experience breathing problems.
Please consider doing one of these options instead:
- Home composting
- Use our garden waste collection service
- Use our bulky house waste collection service
- Bag it up and take it to your local waste recycling centre
If all the options above are not possible, please follow this advice:
- Out of courtesy, please let your neighbours know before you light a fire
- Only burn dry/clean wood and garden waste
Please do not:
- Burn damp material
- Burn rubbish, such as plastic, foam, paint or rubber
- Light the fire using engine oil, methylated spirits or petrol
- Light the fire in windy weather
- Leave it unattended, even if the fire is just smouldering