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To ensure that bonfires do not adversely affect neighbours, please follow the advice from New Forest District Council.

There are no restrictions on when you can or cannot have a bonfire. However, you shouldn't cause a smoke nuisance to anyone.

In warm weather, windows may be left open and people may be enjoying their gardens well into the evening period. You should always respect the reasonable wishes of your neighbours.

Disposing of garden waste

If you intend to use a bonfire to dispose of garden waste, consider the alternatives below.

  • Make use of NFDC's garden waste collection service.

  • Compost as much garden waste as possible. Find out about a home composting scheme.

  • Take your garden waste to a Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

Advice on using bonfires

You can reduce the effects caused by bonfires by following this advice.


  • Have as few bonfires as possible.

  • Tell your neighbours when you intend to light it.

  • Build it as far away from neighbouring properties as possible.

  • Keep bonfires away from fences, hedges or other combustible materials.

  • Burn only dry vegetation or clean, untreated wood.

  • Have plenty of water ready.

  • Attend the fire at all times.

  • Continually monitor whether the fire might cause annoyance.

  • Extinguish the fire if necessary.


  • Light a bonfire if the wind will blow smoke across neighbouring properties.

  • Light a bonfire if a neighbour is using or is likely to use their garden.

  • Light a bonfire if there is washing on a neighbour's line.

  • Light a bonfire if the weather is wet, windy or misty.

  • Burn any green cuttings or wet material.

  • Burn household waste, plastics, rubber or any other material which would cause dark smoke or harmful combustion products.

  • Allow smoke to blow across a road.

  • Leave a fire smouldering.

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