Garden bonfire FAQ

Garden bonfire FAQ

When is it lawful to have a bonfire?

One of the most common misconceptions is that garden bonfires can be lit quite freely after 6pm.  There are no specified times when you can or cannot have a bonfire, it’s a matter of being reasonable..

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What is the law?

The statutory nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 apply.  If you have a bonfire so frequently or of such intensity that it would be unreasonable to the “ordinary reasonable person” then that is a statutory nuisance.

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What does that mean?

It means that the Local Authority can serve an Abatement Notice on you requiring you to cease the nuisance.  Failure to comply with the Notice will result in prosecution. In addition to the Local Authority any aggrieved neighbour can ask the Magistrates’ for an Order prohibiting you from causing a nuisance.

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If I cannot burn my garden rubbish how should I dispose of it?

Compost it, put it into your brown bin (if you have one) or take it to the public waste disposal sites at Fryers Road, Leamore, or Merchants Way, Aldridge

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If I still need to have a bonfire what should I do?

It’s hard to understand why you need a bonfire, however, if you do then you should ensure:-

  • none of your neighbours have a line full of washing
  • there’s very little wind
  • it isn’t a day when your neighbours will wish to sit in their gardens or have windows open
  • all the material is dry and will burn quickly
  • you do so very rarely

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My neighbour is constantly having bonfires what should I do?

Speak to him/her quietly and reasonably.  If that doesn’t work, contact us.  Keep details of when the fires are burned, do ensure, however, that it is always the same neighbour.

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How do I contact you?

Contact us

Environmental Health Division
Civic Centre
Darwall Street
Walsall
WS1 1TP

Telephone 01922 653020
Email environmentalhealth@walsall.gov.uk

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