Don't make an ash of yourself: Support your neighbours by not lighting bonfires

Cotswold District Council has seen a large increase in the number of burning complaints in the last few weeks and is calling on residents to be more considerate of those with respiratory conditions and people in self-isolation.

Cllr Andrew Doherty, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We understand these are difficult and challenging times for us all. Whether you are adjusting to life and work at home, isolating yourself or looking after loved ones who are isolating.

“Most of us are spending more time at home and while having bonfires can be tempting, it carries risks to vulnerable members of our communities. Bonfires cause issues for your neighbours, especially those with respiratory problems, people who are shielding themselves from COVID-19 or anyone who may have contracted the virus.

“COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system so I would like to ask all of our residents here in the Cotswolds to please refrain from lighting fires which may affect vulnerable people while lockdowns continue.”

Burning doesn’t just affect the vulnerable. Bonfires and drifting smoke is a nuisance for neighbours wanting to spend time in their gardens or keep windows open.

Bonfires can get out of hand and take up valuable time and resources of the fire service which may put others at risk during this pandemic.

Cllr Doherty added: “Please be considerate of your neighbours and use alternatives such as composting or storing any waste until government restrictions are lifted. We know this isn't an ideal solution for everyone but these are not ideal times. You can put most of your garden waste to use - a successful compost heap needs lots of brown material as well as green. Don’t burn it, use prunings and dry material to improve your compost heap.”

Environmental and Regulatory Services are required to investigate bonfire complaints whilst following guidance and procedures for social distancing. If considered a waste offence or statutory nuisance, it may result in enforcement action and fines.

To stay up-to-date on the Council’s waste and recycling services, please visit our Coronavirus Bins and Recycling page.

Contact Information

Cotswold District Council Communications Team