Garden bonfires By-Law and History

Garden bonfires have been around for a long time. Today they are not seen as a necessary during the year or guy Fawkes night, in fact, we are seeing less and fewer bonfires happening during this night because of the Health and safety. Ok, now I would certainly like to clear a few things before we divulge into them.

You can have Garden Bonfires whenever you wish, There are no laws against having them and there is not a time limit during one day or night, and when to not have one. It’s down to common sense and thinking. However, there are by-laws for the nuisance they can cause.

garden bonfires

Are Garden Bonfires A Nuisance

To be clear, A single back garden bonfires is unlikely to be a major nuisance even though it may cause some annoyance to a few neighbours. But this is where as a neighbour yourself, would kindly tell your neighbour who may be affected slightly, that you are having one.

For any reasons to why you are unable to talk to your neighbour, here are a few examples for one to be a nuisance:

There has to be evidence about the frequency of garden bonfires, for example, If you have one literally every night, or every so many day’s.
The duration, for example, If burns overnight on at its peak burn. or if the smoke is smoggy black as this could indicate very toxic items burning.
If the smoke is literally smoking your neighbour’s house out, for example, the smoke is going into their home through windows and doors.
Your neighbour garden is affected by smoke, for example. you fail to notify your neighbour and they have washing hanging.

The danger to traffic, Such smoke can affect visibility on the roads for everyone. you will be fined if you found liable for this.

In short: Make sure you let your neighbours who may be affected know that you are going to have Garden Bonfires, and also make sure its well away from roads and motorways.

If you are found to be considered a nuisance you will be given an abatement notice. and further if you fail to comply with the abatement notice, you can be fined up to £5,000.

What not to burn

Please take these points into very hard consideration when doing one as these will be classed as dangerous and will cause a nuisance.

To be on the safe sides on both neighbours and the bylaw, Only burn dry material, Never burn household rubbish such as pop bottles, deodorants etc, rubber tyres or similar plastics, foam items or nothing flammable i.e paint, As these will create toxic black smoke and be dangerous for everyone.

In any circumstances never use old engine oil, methylated spirits or petrol to light the fire or encourage it, as these are very explosive near heat or naked flame and can result to exploding.
Only lit it with suitable weather conditions – if not smoke will hang in the air when damp, and it will travel to unwanted areas if it’s windy. Always avoid having one when air pollution in your area is high or very high. You will find these type information from the weather forecasts or on the UK Air quality archive.

If you do have bonfires in your back garden. Make sure you risk assessment the area, making sure the bonfire heap isn’t too high, and that there is plenty of room either side, away from plants, trees, fence panels. This would limit strays away setting these a light. Make sure it burns at high heat and not to overfill it.

Garden Bonfires Why We Should Never Forget

Garden Bonfires have much traditional use in each country, the Celtics had one that were to be held between 31s October and 5th of November to celebrate Samhain. Northern Ireland, are today lit on Halloween and on each 11 July, to celebrate the victory of Williamite forces. In England, everyone used to have them to celebrate the king’s saved life on Guy Fawkes Night.

In today modern times. Garden Bonfires may be used to help getting rid of a large amount of dry garden waste for example, diseased plant material that cannot be composted, rotted fencing panels, dried tree branches, And in some cases still today organised firework displays put one on for guy Fawkes night.

Sadly as we have demanding jobs and being misled over the years, we do not have them like we used to let us say 30 -40 years ago. The days of kids running around with wheelbarrows asking for wood and other such items to be put on their massive Heap have vanished.

Besides, ashes are great for keeping slugs away from your plants. So this year Seasonal Traditions is asking the UK national to follow their bylaw carefully and safety, To build a bonfire on Guy Fawkes night. Let’s help bring back an old tradition that has happened for many years.

Further recourse:
 Gov – Garden bonfires: the rules