You are here:


Air quality, smoke control and bonfires

North Warwickshire Currently has no Air Quality Management Areas which means that the air quality in North Warwickshire is currently achieving the Air Quality Objectives set by Europe for oxides of nitrogen, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter. North Warwickshire Borough Council monitor air quality for oxides of nitrogen using diffusion tubes. The results are submitted to DEFRA each year in a report. See this year’s Air Quality report.

If you are concerned about dark smoke coming from industrial or trade premises please let us know by contacting us.

Report air pollution online

Bonfires and the Law

Where a neighbour is causing a problem by burning rubbish there are legal powers to deal with it. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, a statutory nuisance includes “smoke, fumes or gases emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance”. In practice, to be considered a statutory nuisance, a bonfire would have to be a persistent problem, interfering substantially with your well-being, comfort or enjoyment of your property.

Report a bonfire problem 

If bothered by smoke, approach your neighbour and explain the problem. They may not be aware of the distress they are causing. If this fails, please contact us for advice or to report a problem.

Under the Highways Act 1980, anyone lighting a fire and allowing smoke to drift across a road faces a fine if it endangers traffic. The Police are the enforcing authority in relation to this.

Bonfire guidelines

  • only burn dry material
  • never burn household rubbish, rubber tyres, or anything containing   plastic, foam or paint
  • never use old engine oil, meths or petrol to light the fire or to encourage it
  • avoid lighting a fire in unsuitable weather conditions - smoke hangs on the air on damp, still days and in the evening.  If it is windy, smoke may be blown into neighbours’ gardens and across roads
  • avoid burning at weekends and bank holidays when people want to enjoy their gardens
  • avoid burning when air pollution in your area is high or very high.  This information is included in weather forecasts, or you can check by ringing 0800 556677
  • never leave a fire unattended or leave it to smoulder - douse it with water if necessary

Parts of North Warwickshire are designated as Smoke Control Areas. In these areas it is not permitted to emit smoke from domestic chimneys but garden bonfires and BBQs are permitted as long as there is no other offence being committed such as nuisance or dark smoke from an industrial or trade premises.

Maps of the Smoke Control Areas are available

If you live in one of these areas and you wish to know which appliances you can use to burn fuels for heating please visit

Last updated Wednesday, 13th September 2023

Was this information useful?

You said, we did