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Please note that our online payments system will be unavailable on Sunday 10 July between 9.00am and 11.00am. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Garden bonfires

Garden bonfires are not illegal, even in a smoke control area, but there are laws for the nuisance they can cause.

Burning domestic waste

You can't burn household waste if it will cause pollution or harm people's health. Dry garden waste can be burnt.

Dispose of household or garden waste by composting or recycling it.

Drifting smoke - danger to traffic

You could be fined if you light a fire and you allow the smoke to drift across the road and become a danger to traffic.

Complain about a neighbours' bonfire

We can issue an abatement notice if a neighbour's bonfire is causing a nuisance. Your neighbour can be fined up to £5,000 if they don't stick to the notice.

A bonfire must happen frequently to be considered a nuisance.


Contact us
Environment, Health and Consumer Protection
03000 261 016
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • Environment, Health and Consumer Protect
  • PO Box 617
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 9HZ