Burning your waste should be a last resort. If you are still going to have a bonfire, please contact your local Fire Control team on 0116 263 4180 to let them know. This will stop them from mobilising crews to you unnecessarily. For the safety of yourself, your neighbours and wildlife, bonfires should be kept away from sheds, trees and fences and avoid the use of any accelerants, such as petrol. Do not leave fires unattended and have a bucket of water nearby.

Environmental Protection Act 1990 - Garden Bonfires

There are a number of things that need to be taken into account when setting up a bonfire in your garden.

Garden refuse can be burnt in gardens providing smoke nuisance is not caused to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood. 

  1. Compost as much garden refuse as possible

  2. Large woody cuttings etc, unsuitable for composting, should be thoroughly dried before being burnt. A quick, hot fire will produce the minimum amount of smoke.

  3. Remember your neighbour

  4. Do not light a bonfire if the wind is going to cause the smoke to be a nuisance to anyone

  5. Try to limit your fires to not more than one a month and, if weather conditions are suitable, have a good quick blaze around sunset when the minimum of nuisance should be caused

  6. No fire should be left unattended. Never leave a fire to smoulder but douse it with soil or water

  7. Never add household refuse to a garden bonfire.

A smoky bonfire could be actionable under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. If we believe a situation prejudicial to health or a nuisance has occurred, even though it has temporarily ceased but is likely to recur, we could servce an Abatement Notice on the person responsible.

You should dispose of business waste in an appropriate manner. Burning is not allowed and any instances should be reported to the Environment Agency for investigation on 0800 80 70 60.

Some further advice from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on the use of open fires and wood burning stoves is availiable here:

Open fires and wood burning stoves (PDF Document, 0.21 Mb)

Ready 2 burn leaflet (PDF Document, 5.32 Mb)

Last updated: Thu 11 May, 2023 @ 14:01