Having a garden bonfire

Before having a garden bonfire, please consider the following advice:

  • you may be able to burn garden waste like twigs or hedge clippings without causing a nuisance, if your fire is small and they are infrequent e.g. once or twice a year
  • we would always recommend that you consider other ways of disposal before you burn waste
  • avoid burning on muggy days or if the wind is likely to blow smoke towards your neighbours. If the Fire and Rescue Service are called out, they may extinguish the fire if it poses a danger
  • letting your neighbours know you are planning on having a garden bonfire is sensible. Don’t start a fire if your neighbours have their washing on the line or their windows are wide open.
  • if you are in a heavily residential area and you have a lot of waste that you want to burn, in all likelihood you will need to find an alternative way of disposing of the waste

Top tips

  • if you have too much waste, or it’s too big for your bin, take it to the household waste disposal and recycling centres for free. You will need a permit if you have a van
  • the Council will collect and dispose of most bulky household waste (e.g. furniture) or other items from your home for a small fee
  • recycle or compost garden waste as it is a more environmentally friendly means of disposal
  • if your neighbour is having a fire that is causing a problem consider talking to them - they may be unaware of the nuisance it might be causing
  • if you are planning to have a fire:
    • ask your neighbours beforehand, especially if their washing is out or they’re enjoying their gardens
    • set the fire well away from property, overhanging trees, cables and combustible materials
    • don’t use petrol, paraffin or white spirit to start a fire
    • do not burn aerosol cans, tins of paint or bottles – they can explode and injure bystanders
    • don’t burn rubber or plastic, foam or paint, and don’t burn your general household waste
    • shred confidential documents -don’t burn them
    • put the fire out if smoke or debris is blown onto neighbouring premises - keep a bucket of water / sand or a hose nearby in case of emergencies
    • avoid burning at weekends and bank holidays when people are trying to enjoy their gardens
    • never leave a fire unattended or leave it to smoulder