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Ban Bonfires

39 Comments 28th March 2015

The banning of bonfires in residential or rural populated areas.

Why does this matter?

We are all being told repeatedly to cut down on green house gasses and pollution, yet we have all  seen or experienced inconsiderate neighbours that will decide to light a bonfire on a summers evening or during the day after the washing has been placed on the line to dry with no consideration to anyone else.

Garden waste can be disposed of by the Council or shredder devices can be used to turn most items into compost, usually the people involved are too lazy to plan or execute the removal of such waste opting for the easy option.

Clean air is every person’s right, without the need to close your windows, if you have waste then dispose of it in a manner that will not affect others.

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39 Responses to Ban Bonfires

  1. myers says:

    Excellent idea. Live in a lovely leafy residential area but can not hand washing out as at least one bonfire per day often more lasting hours at a time.
    Can not sit out in garden most evenings for same reason.
    As several neighbours not just one cannot complain as a statutory nuisance. In current climate change era and health concerns over smoke people should not be lighting fires in residential areas.

    • David Richardson says:

      I totally agree that a change in the law is mow needed on baning the outdated practice of buring bonfires in the UK,

      The 1990 environmental protection act states quite clearly that residents should not be subject to unreasonable and substantial interference with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises, or sustain injury to health or be likely to injure health.
      The burning of bonfires in residential areas seriously contravenes this act on both accounts !
      The legislation ccovering local councils under this act in dealing with the nuisance caused by the burning of bonfires does not work in practice, it is a long and laborious task to deal with one offender with little sucess of a permanent outcome , and if you are subjected to several bonfires in your area as most complaints seem to be , then it is an impossible task for the individual and indeed the local council to complete !

      This legislation is clearly not fit for purpose
      and the only solution is a change in the law by the government ?
      Currently I am dealing with my local MP who has taken this matter up with Rory Stewart OBE MP, The under secartary or state for the environment and rural affairs,

      I would urge everyone who\’s lives are being seriously affected by this outdated practice of burning bonfires to also contact their MP and ask them to take the matter up on your behalf with Rory Stewart OBE MP for a change in the law for a total ban on burning of bonfires in residential areas , one person will not achieve this by themselves but if you and others in the country do the same the government will have to take notice , after all that is what your local MP is there for , if you want an end to your home and health and quality of life being ruined by thoughtless and inconsiderate people then use your power and excersise your rights ! .

      • Mrs P Slater says:

        I approached my MP Charlotte Leslie about this her reply was that’s it’s government policy to leave it to local government !!! So no help there , what makes me laugh (tongue in cheek ) is that there is no law at all about bonfires you can have them whenever you like , BUT there is a law about the smoke that they produce !!! Are there no MP’s that can work that one out !!!!

      • GAIA says:

        We are trying to get support for a letter to the Welsh health and environment ministers to get an outright ban, as they have in France, so a french friend says…

        We have drafted a letter and have been trying to get support form like-minded people,and organisations.

        However, even though one of our main concerns, aside of C02 emissions and obvious nuisance, is the damaged to Asthma sufferers like myself. But the Asthma UK declined to support an outright ban as they didn’t feel it would be worth it!

        We believe, that a collective has a greater force for change than a individual.

        Anyone who would,like to join forces with us to work together to campaign for an outright ban, please feel,free to contact us:

        campaigns.tgi@gaiaunlimited.co.uk

  2. Kevin Maple says:

    Ban bonfires!! We are supposed to be saving the plane. Recycle, dont burn. Im sick of hot days, opening my window. Only to fill my home with smoke! Washing in the garden gets smoked out, and I dont want my 2yr old breathing it in. Im losing my mother to lung cancer so this is a big issue to me. We are supposed to be Great Britain, whats great about it? Mr Cameron, grow some balls.

  3. Harj Mehat says:

    I have recently sent a message to the department for environment about this issue and found this post.
    I was sent a reply suggesting that there are already laws in place to prevent smoke from causing a nuisance to neighbours. If I complain about someones smoke filling my garden and house, the council tell me that the fact I complain is disclosed to anyone I sell my house to ..potentially undermining a sale.
    There is no need for bonfires (except on Guy Fawkes night) as they are dangerous, polluting, antisocial and not environmentally friendly. I cannot beleive that a civilised society still allows anyone to burn material to the detriment of so many people.

    • MIke Bray says:

      There are local laws in place but they are rubbish. You have to keep a record for 3 months before they will even speak to the people causing the nuisance.
      It’s time to ban Bonfires completely. Enough already we are supposed to be cleaning the air up aren’t we ?

  4. marina moore says:

    I totally agree. Bonfires is a real nuisance. Especially when you have half a dozen nabours lighting bon firer. It can be stressful. It is so hard when you have inconsiderate when nabours persue.

  5. marina moore says:

    When will these bon fire fanatics move to the 21st century.

  6. susan clayton says:

    Read the reports. BAN BON FIRES. Get the placards out.

  7. marina moore says:

    No need 4 bonfires we live in the 20st century

  8. susan clayton says:

    I agree put a stop 2 bon fires .

  9. Annie says:

    Yes please ban bonfires. They are anti social. Just at this moment on a glorious spring day my neighbour is burning an old sofa she has had outside since August last year and the smoke is terrible. She burns domestic waste instead of throwing away in a bin or recyling. I cant open my windows and doors, put washing out, cant sit outside, mow the lawn etc.
    We have doorstep refuse collections and recycling, have plenty of refuse and composting sites nearby so there is no need!!!

  10. susan clayton says:

    Ban bonfires! ! !

  11. Andy hughes says:

    Excellent idea we need to move into the 21st century
    Our neighbour has them as he is to tight to get the recycling bin and has always had them. Luddites.

  12. The Vine says:

    Please ban bonfires, at least for the sake of our baby who has just had major heart surgery.

  13. Ray says:

    Excellent idea!!!

    Please sign up an e-petition to ban bonfires!

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/5362

  14. neil says:

    Councils should change local laws and set up teams of anti-social activities wardens, with the powers to issue large fines to those responsible for any breaches in council regulations. I have lived in areas where the council allowed bonfires after 7.30 in the evening (I believe all year round, although it may have been limited to the autumn – spring months only), and on the whole worked well . More councils need to introduce some similar scheme but be prepared to police it and clamp down hard on anyone who doesn’t adhere.
    I have a 170 foot rear garden, producing tons of garden waste, yet manage to only have one bonfire a year, more out of tradition than need. All the garden waste, trees, scrubs and grass is either composted or taken to the local council recycling site., along with all the household rubbish not collected by the dustmen. The time spent in visiting the dump is less than the time to prepare and maintain the bonfires needed to burn the waste. Not so hard after all.

  15. Burnt out says:

    Absolutely agree it is unnecessary to have these constant fires it is making our life unbearable. Our local council Sutton the so called green borough is failing to control fires in our area it is a disgrace. Burning is on the increase and Britain especially in the Greater London area is now becoming like the third world.

  16. Sue Cole says:

    You cannot go to your local pub and smoke so why do I have to tolerate my selfish neighbor filling my house with smoke from his garden bonfire and having to rewash my clothes that were on my line .just because he wont take his garden waste to the tip or use a brown bin its time goverment banned this practice its not fair

  17. Dave says:

    Yes bonfires should be banned. Why should we have to put up with smoke from other people burning garden waste ? Most time it is because they are ignorant and lazy

  18. Justin says:

    I am going to lobby my local council over this matter. I have had to speak with 4 local residents this past week alone, who feel it is perfectly acceptable to light a bond fire in the middle of the day. Oh, I forgot to mention. They only light them when the wind is blowing away from their house and in the direction of someone elses. Makes my blood boil that people can be so selfish and inconsiderate.

  19. Jennie Harborth says:

    Fantastic idea. The burning of garden waste is totally unnecessary and antisocial. The stench from some of these fires makes me wonder what is being burned. Right now on this magnificent evening, I’m sitting indoors with the windows and doors shut to keep the stench of a bonfire out. Simply not fair.

  20. heidi says:

    our animals get fritend of fire works
    its not fure on the animals it distreses i have 5 cats them pleas think of the animals on the 5th November

  21. Carol Sutherland says:

    I’m going to write to my local MP, Environmental Dept of local Council and local newpaper. Living in glorious Devon but absolutely sick of people lighting bonfires whenever it’s dry & sunny. Not always burning wood or garden cuttings either, sometimes the smell is acrid and clings to clothing and hair. Local Council not interested when I phoned them ‘only asks people to respect others enjoyment’ etc, etc, as if…….

  22. Shellie says:

    Woke up again this morning breathing in a neighbours bonfire from down the end of my road! It’s disgusting that I can’t even lay in my bed with my window open without breathing in the fumes of whatever is being burnt on that fire! I am so sick of it!

  23. Justin Flanagan says:

    I have been lobbying my local town council and complaining to the environment agency about incosiderate neighbours buring their garden waste. We have a fortnightly collection and a recycling centre 2 minutes up the road, but these inconsiderate morons would rather burn it in their gardens at 2pm on Saturday on a summers afternoon when you are sitting in the back garden and have your washing pegged out.

    To be honest, I have lost all faith. The environment agency are a waste of time and just get me to keep a diary of the offenders. Trouble is, until there is a legisalation change regarding bonfires nothing will get sorted.

    In this day and age there is no excuse at all to burn stuff in your back garden.

  24. Firefighter says:

    Lazy goodfornothings who live near me should just set light to themselves.
    Have had council send out letters of complaint but unless they are burning plastics or tyres etc etc. the council dont really care.
    So called neighbours who have no thought for anyone or anything except their pyromaniac practices, w&n%£r$

  25. firesuit says:

    Out in the country – cant light a fire to get warm,Camping – cant light a fire to eat….At the beech party – beers round a candle is it..Oh forgot candle thats an open flame,youl be open to prosecution for lighting a zippo next..Careful what rights your giving away as Bonfires are a british tradition..An we dont have many of them left…Next will be airtax – Total recal was all about that remember.
    remember.Dont give away fish n chips plz…

  26. B King says:

    British Lung Foundation states that hundreds of thousands of people a year die prematurely because of pollution in the air.

    All bonfires emit Cancer Causing Carcegins.

    Banning bonfires (& wood burners) in residential areas is a no-brainer!

  27. Debs says:

    Yes, ban bonfires….this day and age there
    really is no need for them except Nov 5th (in which I don’t have a problem with) why should I have to breath in this toxic smoke, bring my washing in and keep my windows shut? ….I am asthmatic anyway and can’t stand any sort of smoke! ….I really don’t get why neighbours have to be anti social …I wouldn’t dream of lighting a fire for fear of causing offence to my neighbours …..

  28. Debs says:

    Ban them….no need this day and age ….I don’t have a problem with Nov 5th as I stay indoors but neighbours lighting fires?….no thank you it’s antisocial and offensive and harmful

  29. Ann says:

    I agree with all the other comments. Totally unnecessary for one inconsiderate, lazy individual to pollute the atmosphere and make all the neighbours houses and washing stink! Why should anyone have that right????! PLEASE ban!!!

  30. Mrs P Slater says:

    I agree with all comments too, I am asthmatic and am sick of these anti social so called neighbours that think they can have bonfires big or small when it suits them . Two words for them SHELFISH and too LAZY to go to the local tip !!!!

  31. Terry Ive says:

    As more people live longer there will be a constant increase in the number of people that will die from gradual suffocation.

    Those people were encouraged to smoke cigarettes! They were the victims of extremely aggressive advertising campaigns paid for by the Tobacco industry, encouraged by the Television & Newspaper moguls and leading sporting bodies and fully sponsored by the Government through heavy taxation. The Companies got rich. The Government got rich and the poor victims got COPD.

    This results in a decrease of ability through lack of oxygen, where sufferers, many before their 60’s, end up with the oxygen take-up of a 95 yr old but who could suffer a very unpleasant death within 10-15 yrs and who need to be medicated for the rest of that time.

    Our young children’s lungs are very vulnerable and so easily damaged and with new plastics/materials being invented and used in consumer products who can say what long term effects of young lungs could result from breathing the subsequent toxic fumes, if incinerated.

    Some of the money made by the Government in past years should be ploughed back into paying for even more aggressive campaigns to eradicate this filthy habit for good. They are entirely culpable.

    ALL avoidable smoke should be banned completely and immediately and hefty fines imposed on any offenders ignoring such bans, to ensure that those sufferers (along with asthmatics Etc) are not affected more than can be avoided.

    Lets try to make our open air as pleasurable as possible for future generations.

    • MIke Bray says:

      I totally agree. If a particular political party said they will ban Bonfires, they will get my vote on just that one improvement they could make to everyone’s life.

  32. David Richardson says:

    From now until the 15th July 2017 Defra have a consultation document on line asking for your views on Air Pollution, the British government has been forced to take action by the European Union as Britain has the worst air pollution in the Western world !
    I have completed the survey and I would ask everyone who wants a total ban on garden bonfires to do the same , the website is …….
    gov.uk/defra , click on Your Opinion Survey

    A few FACTS to think about !
    The smoke from garden bonfires is toxic and contains several harmful air pollutants including Benzene, Formaldehyde, Acrolein, and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons ( PAHS ) which can stay in the air up to seven days after a fire !
    The Health risks from breathing in this toxic smoke on a regular basis ( one or two times a month ) can damage lungs in adults ,cause lung underdevelopment in children, asthma attacks, acute bronchitis, heart disease, and long term exposure has been linked to cancer !
    The toxic particals from bonfire smoke are so small that they can enter the body through the eyes and going indoors and closing tight all doors and windows is no protection as in the most insulated of homes the air inside can reach up to 70 % of the outdoor pollution levels !

    The government relies on the Environmental Health act 1990 part 3 to deal with this problem through local councils
    However the guidelines require that firstly the offender must be identified and secondly they must live close to the complainant, but as the toxic smoke from one bonfire travels horizontally and covers a very large area effecting hundreds of people , in 70% of cases neither of these two conditions can be met , and when they can be met the local authority must monitor more bonfires from this source over a period of several weeks pouring out tonnes more air pollution effecting the health of 100s of people before they can issue an abatement notice. and in most cases the offender starts again after a period of quiet,
    Local authorities receive between 5 and 10 complaints every week over air pollution from garden bonfires, Which shows the environmental health act 1990 does not work and is not fit for purpose !
    Therefore a change in the law is clearly needed to totally ban garden bonfires and to protect everyone’s health !

    Take 20 mins and fill in the government consultation plan on air pollution on the defra website and make your views heard before its too late !

    • Ralph Howard Bromley says:

      No idea where the consultation you mention is. I have searched DEFRA’s website for information, but to no avail…. Of course they should ban bonfires, especically in hot weather. I have had to close the windows and turn the ventilation system off, just because a thoughtless someone can’t be bothered to shed his work documents. Bonfires are selfish, a health hazard, pollute the environment. They impact on the rest of the community in a negative way, and as others have already mentioned, are needless these days.

  33. rodger gray says:

    It would appear the Irish Republic recognise the dangers to the environment and to peoples health of waste disposal by burning and have banned it see https://www.clarecoco.ie/water-waste-environment/enforcement/burning/

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