Home Page


Each year Ashfield District Council receives a number of complaints regarding bonfires, most come from people living nearby who are affected by the smoke and fumes.
Not only is this unpleasant for people living nearby but you may be risking prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000.
As well as nuisance from the smoke, there is always a risk that a fire left unattended can get out of hand.

Enforcement Powers of Ashfield District Council

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 provides that smoke emitted from premises can be a statutory nuisance and action can be taken in this matter.  However, to be considered a nuisance a bonfire would have to be a regular problem and interfering substantially with your well-being, comfort and enjoyment of your property. 

Unfortunately an occasional bonfire (unless it burns causing smoke nuisance to you for a long time or gave rise to particularly noxious emissions) would not be considered a nuisance. Similarly if you are troubled by a series of bonfires from different neighbours, each who burns only occasionally, this would not be considered a nuisance.

In such cases the Council would endeavour to resolve your problem, however, it is important to note that only limited informal action could be taken by the Council in these circumstances.

There is no law against having bonfires and there are no set times restricting when they can be lit, though it is an offence for the smoke to cause a statutory nuisance. Smoke from garden bonfires in a residential area can seriously affect the residential amenity and enjoyment of other premises. It can also contribute to local air pollution levels and, in some locations, reduce visibility on nearby roads.


  • Compost whenever possible
  • Burn only dry rubbish
  • Burn as quickly as possible
  • Burn as infrequently as possible
  • Find alternatives to burning where possible and please consider your neighbours' before lighting a fire.


  • Burn in foggy, damp or still conditions.
  • Burn when the wind is blowing towards houses or roads.
  • Burn when the neighbours have a full line of washing.
  • Leave the fire unattended until any fire is out.
  • Burn Domestic waste. 

Alternative means of disposal

The Council does not recommend disposal of waste by burning and encourages people to consider alternative methods for getting rid of their waste.  Examples include:

Garden waste:

The Council offers a garden waste service to households in Ashfield between March and December each year, for more information please contact the Waste and Environment Services, Customer Services, telephone (01623) 450000 or click here.


Ashfield runs numerous mini-recycling centres for glass, paper, cans and textiles throughout the District. Nottingham County Council also operates three household waste and recycling centres in Ashfield (i) Sidings Road, Lowmoor Estate, Kirkby (ii) Wigwam Lane, Hucknall .For further details on these centres please ring (0115) 9774383.

Collection of bulky items:

The Council will collect bulky items of furniture such as a fridge, bed etc, from a household for a small fee.  Please contact the Refuse Department, telephone (01623) 450000 ext 3859 for further details.