Advice on bonfires and how to avoid smoke pollution.

Bonfires and the law

The law says you can light an occasional bonfire to dispose of dry waste from your own garden, as long as it doesn't cause a nuisance.

Having a bonfire every day or a large bonfire may cause a nuisance.

Bonfires and pollution

Burning garden waste creates smoke that causes pollution.

Burning man-made materials can be smelly and could release all sorts of harmful chemicals into the air.

If you have a bonfire problem

Contacting the person responsible is often the best way to resolve a smoke problem, so we recommend that, where possible, you try approaching the person responsible for the smoke to discuss your concerns.

If you have a problem that you cannot sort out for yourself, you can use the service below to give us more information, and find out if it is something we can investigate. 

We have legal powers to help you when smoke is unreasonably or significantly interfering with the use or enjoyment of your home or other premises. You must experience it regularly or for an extended period of time.

We do not investigate one off or infrequent problems with smoke, and can't investigate anonymous complaints or complaints made on behalf of other people.

You can use our online service to get help, advice and report a statutory smoke nuisance.

Diary sheets

It can help to keep a record of the problem for your own reference. If you would like to do this, you can print out our nuisance diary sheets.

Holding a bonfire and installing wood burning stove

You can see our having a bonfire safely and installing a wood burning stove page for advice.


Contact us

Environmental Health (customer services)