Consider what you burn

We are working with Harborough District Council to try and understand the impact that burning solid fuel has on local air quality.

The solid fuel air quality project in North West Leicestershire District Council

This DEFRA-funded project will investigate the levels of tiny polluting air particles, known as PM2.5 , from the burning of solid fuel on

  • wood burners,
  • wood stoves,
  • barbecues,
  • chimineas, or
  • bonfires,

and how it might affect air quality and people living in the area.

We recognise wood burners are often a sought-after feature for people’s homes and have seen a rise in popularity in recent years. We also anticipate more use of solid fuel as the cost of energy and living generally rises.

We want to raise awareness in the local community about how these particulates can impact our health and to encourage households to burn appropriate and clean fuels. Particulates in wood smoke have been linked to health problems. These include asthma, heart disease and lung cancer.

We have selected Oakthorpe and Donisthorpe as the focus of the project as it is an area which is predominately off-gas (i.e. without a mains gas supply) and there are a number of older properties in the village that are more likely to have solid fuel appliances.

As part of the project you may notice air pollution monitors being fixed to locations in the village. We will be monitoring for several months to get an overall picture of the local levels of pollution over the year.

What happens next?

Our monitoring will continue for 12 months, and during that time we’ll also use various methods to raise awareness about solid fuel with our residents.

We are not looking to ban the use of solid fuel burners, but to encourage households to use the most appropriate fuel and to maintain their appliances to make sure they are operating as efficiently as possible.

We want to share any learning we gain from this project to the wider community to help reduce local air pollution and minimise the impact on individuals’ health from the effects of burning inappropriate solid fuel.

How can I help?

We want to understand what and how people burn, whether this is inside the home on a fire for example, or outside in their garden or allotment. We would appreciate it if you could complete a short survey letting us know what you have burned in the last 12 months and your knowledge of the potential dangers of particulates. 

You can also enter our free prize draw to win a pass to a local attraction. Details provided for the survey will only be used to further our understanding of solid fuel burning, and contacting you if you win the prize draw.

Take part in our Spring air quality survey

The survey will run for two months and is open to anyone living in North West Leicestershire. If you completed our previous survey and said you would be happy to hear from us again, we will contact you with a follow-up questionnaire. 

If you have any questions about the project please email  or call 01530 454545.

Last updated: Thu 30 March, 2023 @ 17:57