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Report a bonfire

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A bonfire can be a handy way to get rid of garden waste but you need to be aware of the impact on your neighbours and the environment.

There is no law against having a bonfire, though it is an offence for the smoke, smell and ash to cause a nuisance. We recommend you look at other ways of getting rid of garden waste, such as composting.

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

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 they are causing a problem.

If the situation does not improve, you can report a bonfire. 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 sufficient, 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.

Report a commercial bonfire (opens new window)

Report a domestic bonfire (opens new window)