Bonfires can cause health issues, safety problems, pollution and annoyance. It might be best to think of other methods of waste disposal, such as composting or taking rubbish to a waste site.

Our bonfire guidance explains the issues with bonfires and the alternatives for garden or household waste.

If using wood for fuel look out for the Woodsure Ready to Burn label from your supplier and to reduce the environmental and health impacts please take a look at the "We all breathe the same air" publication which provides advice on the lighting of a stove to minimise smoke emissions and make note of the open fire and wood burning stoves practical guide.

You can complain about smoke if it is causing a nuisance

  • tell the person politely that their smoke is causing a nuisance
  • if this does not work, contact us and we will investigate. This could lead to an unlimited fine

Dark smoke and commercial waste bonfires

It is an offence to emit dark smoke from industrial or trade bonfires or chimneys. This can result in an unlimited fine. It is also an offence, subject to very specific exemptions or in accordance with a waste management licence, to burn commercial waste. This can result in 5 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.

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Page last updated 05/12/2017