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Garden bonfires

Whilst at home during the coronavirus pandemic please be considerate of your neighbours and avoid lighting bonfires. The smoke can make it difficult for people with asthma and similar conditions to go out for their daily exercise.

Every year we get a large number of complaints about bonfires causing a nuisance to our residents.

We have the power to take formal action if bonfires cause a serious nuisance to neighbours.

There are no byelaws that either prevent people from having occasional garden bonfires or specific times when they can be lit, but there are a few alternatives which are safer and have less of an impact to the environment. These are:

  • Use our garden waste service
  • Composting (or burying) soft garden waste such as grass cutting
  • Hire a skip from a private contractor for large amounts of waste

Should you decide to start a bonfire at your home, please take notice of the information on this page and the recommendations outlined below:

  • Telling neighbours you are having a bonfire and you will do your best to minimise smoke and finish burning quickly
  • Choosing a site where least nuisance will be caused to neighbours, not just yourself
  • Not lighting the bonfire if any residents have washing out to dry
  • Not burning at weekends, bank holidays or sunny days when people are outside enjoying their gardens

Excessive smoke and pollution can be avoided by:

  • Making sure the material is as dry as possible. Damp material, including ‘green’ garden waste, particularly conifer cuttings, will cause a lot of smoke
  • Not lighting the bonfire with petrol or diesel
  • Not burning plastics, foam, rubber or material contaminated with oil
  • Not burning timber contaminated with creosote or other flammable preservatives
  • Not burning painted timber
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