Air quality

Bonfires and fireworks

Before lighting bonfires and letting off fireworks you should consider the effects this has on the environment and those living around you.


Most household items can be recycled, or disposed of, at our recycling centres, so there should be no need to burn items in gardens. Burning garden waste produces smoke, especially if it is damp and smouldering. This will contain pollutants including carbon monoxide, dioxins and particles.

There aren't specific laws that prohibit garden bonfires or specify times they can be lit. If only dry garden waste is burnt the occasional bonfire should not cause a major problem.

If a bonfire is a persistent problem, interfering substantially with your well-being, comfort or enjoyment of your property then action may be taken under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if it is a statutory nuisance. If the fire is only occasional, it is difficult to prove nuisance in law. 

If bothered by smoke, approach your neighbour and explain the problem. You might feel awkward, but they may not be aware of the distress they are causing, and it will hopefully make them more considerate in the future. If this fails contact us. An officer will investigate your complaint and if a statutory nuisance is determined steps will be taken to secure a remedy. 

Please read this leaflet from Environmental Protection UK (EPUK) for information on garden bonfire guidance (PDF 567KB).

Bonfires on industrial, commercial or construction sites 

If a bonfire of industrial or commercial waste is emitting black smoke it is an offence under Section 2 of the Clean Air Act 1993. Contact us to report black smoke from industrial or commercial burning or burning on construction sites.


We encourage our tenants and their families to go to organised firework displays.

However, if you want to set off small fireworks in your garden please contact your neighbours first to let them know. They can make sure their pets are inside. You should consider the effects of letting off fireworks before you do so.