Click4Assistance UK Live Chat Software
Skip to main content


Smoke from garden bonfires

Many people assume that there are specific bye-laws to prohibit bonfires. There aren't. If used sensitively, the occasional bonfire or barbecue should not cause a major problem and an outright ban would be unreasonable and difficult to enforce.

However if a neighbour is causing a nuisance by burning rubbish, the law is on your side. If you are going to have a bonfire, it's only fair to warn your neighbours, they are much less likely to complain if you do.

Where to find help

Report light, smoke and other pollution


There are far less environmentally damaging alternatives to bonfires available such as composting and recycling. Further information can be found on the Garden Organic website.

Good bonfire guidelines

If you do have a bonfire, follow these guidelines:

  • only burn dry material
  • never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres, or anything containing plastic, foam or paint
  • never use old engine oil, meths or petrol to light the fire or to encourage it
  • avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions - when it is windy, cold, calm days, foggy and in the evening
  • avoid burning at weekends and on bank holidays when people want to enjoy their gardens
  • avoid burning when the air pollution in your area is 'high' or 'very high'
  • never leave a fire unattended or leave it to smoulder - douse it with water if necessary