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Garden bonfires

This page provides information about garden bonfires including laws and guidelines.

Although garden bonfires may be lit at any time, they are often likely to cause a nuisance to neighbours and should be avoided wherever possible. The reasons for this are:-

  • the smoke, smuts and smell from bonfires often prevent neighbours from enjoying their gardens, opening windows and hanging washing out,
  • bonfire smoke is a polluter of air and may cause particular problems for people with certain medical conditions such as asthma and bronchitis and
  • safety - fire can spread to fences or buildings and smoke drifting across a road may cause a traffic hazard.

As an alternative to a bonfire, we encourage all residents to make full use of our garden waste collection service.

The law relating to bonfires

Bonfire smoke is covered by the statutory nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

There are no laws or by-laws in Oadby and Wigston to restrict bonfires to certain times of day or certain times of the year.

Bonfire guidelines

If you feel it is essential to hold a bonfire, please show consideration to your neighbours and always take the following precautions:

  • Keep the frequency of bonfires to a minimum.
  • Avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions. Smoke tends to hang in the air on damp, still days and in the evening. If it is windy, smoke may be blown into neighbours' gardens and across roads.
  • Only burn dry material as this produces far less smoke than burning damp material.
  • Never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres, or anything containing plastic, foam or paint.
  • Never use old engine oil, methylated spirits or petrol to light the fire or encourage it to burn.
  • Ensure that bonfires are sited with care and properly supervised to minimise the chance of causing annoyance to neighbours and prevent the fire spreading.

See related documents below to download a Garden Bonfires leaflet.

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