Report a bonfire
What you need to know
A bonfire can be a handy way to get rid of garden waste but they can have an impact on your neighbours and the environment.
There is no law against having a bonfire. It is an offence for the smoke, smell and ash to cause a nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
If you must have a bonfire, we recommend you:
- have your bonfire as far away from buildings as possible
- do not light a fire if the wind will carry the smoke over roads or into your neighbours' gardens or property
- burn only dry wood and plant waste. Do not burn material that will create toxic fumes, for example, plastic, rubber or aerosols
- put the bonfire out with water
- remember that smoke hangs in the air on damp, windless days and in the evening
Getting rid of your waste
We recommend that household waste is not burnt on a bonfire. Instead recycle it through one of our collection schemes.
Report a bonfire
If you are being disturbed by bonfire smoke and ash, try politely discussing the issue with your neighbour. They may not realise it's causing a problem.
If the situation does not improve, you can report a bonfire to us. For us to take action, the bonfire must be classed as a statutory nuisance. This means the bonfire you wish to report must be more than an annoyance and affecting you in an unreasonable way.
- you will need to keep a record of dates, times and how the bonfire is affecting you
- an officer may arrange to visit to witness the bonfire disturbance
- if the bonfire is a statutory nuisance, the officer will issue an abatement notice. This does not put a stop to the bonfires but may help reduce the numbers
- if the bonfire nuisance continues and evidence is enough, we may take the offender to court for not complying with the abatement notice
- you may also be able to take your own private legal action
- if you have reported the bonfires and are concerned that not enough is being done, you can then raise a community trigger.
To report a bonfire you will need to make an account and log in.