A beautiful sunny morning here and I looked forward to spending the afternoon doing some long overdue jobs in the garden after lunch - there were a few errands to run before then. OK, it clouded up and is now quite overcast but still mild, windless and pleasant to be outdoors. Then a neighbour started a bonfire. A regular event - but not frequent enough to qualify as a "nuisance" apparently. It's legal if you don't burn noxious substances but with no wind the smell is still unpleasant and I was driven indoors fairly rapidly only to find it smelly there too as windows and vents had been open. Invariably the vegetation he burns is wet so it will be smoking for hours. I've had bonfires myself in the past but took pains to ensure there was a reasonable breeze to blow the smoke away from neighbouring properties. I really see no justification for this activity given that our local Council have a fortnightly "garden waste" collection (the stuff is composted and sold back to gardeners) or he could compost it himself and do his garden some good although maybe he moaned about my noisy shredder in the past! What do others do with garden waste?
To my mind this is anti-social behaviour it is a bit like people eating garlic, did I say that I believe I did, no we have fortnightly removal here too Alf.
But years ago this was before we moved to here we had a next door neighbour who would insist on lighting a bonfire just when my mother had hung the washing out on the line. To which my father would slip over the fence and swiftly throw a bucket of water over the fire, I think it must have been his army training.
To my mind this is anti-social behaviour it is a bit like people eating garlic, did I say that I believe I did,
You won't be wanting any of my lamb tonight then, there's a whole bulb gone into that, just sliced in half sideways - yes, a whole bulb, not a clove.
I cleared an area of Rhododendron from my garden a few years ago, about 150 sq.ft. and up to 10'0" high, there was no way I was going to get it all in the back of the car and take it to the tip, even a dozen trips wouldn't have cleared it, so I burned it. It took about 5 hours of constant stoking to shift it all.
I had plenty of dry stuff to get a good blaze going: when the Rhodo went on the leaves were crisping up and disappearing (still in one piece) up on the thermals, most of them landed on a neighbours conservatory two doors away.
He was less than amused, came knocking on my door telling me to take it to the tip etc., I got letters from the council about nuisance etc. etc. what a nonsense, the first dose of rain sorted out his conservatory. I've only ever had (and still do) a bonfire about once every two years.
I've mixed feelings about this. Burning woody material - Ajay's rhodenrons - can be the more environmental option versus the cost of transport and shredding. It should be noted though that a slow burn rather than a raging fire is needed to produce a useful soil contributant and not drive everything useful into the atmosphere. Those urban areas that have Smoke Orders from the 1950s/60s are likely to also have byelaws that prohibit bonfires between dawn and dusk, and many areas had these even before Smoke Orders were intrduced. In rural, semi rural and also coal producing areas, Smoke Orders were never introduced, and Local Authorities have been reluctant to introduce Bye Laws that they lack the workforce to police. Nevetheless with the facilites for recycling now available and much clearer legal status of the right to quiet enjoyment of ones home and garden, Council's shouldn't be relying on Statutory Nuisance as the only way to deal with problem bonfires. It is not vastly expensive for a Council to introduce a Bye Law, and one limiting bonfires to a)Garden refuse only, b)Not between dawn and dusk, and c) Only when there is an R in the month, i.e not April, May, June, July or August - would be environmentally sound as well as promoting social responsibility. Anyone with this problem might find it worthwhile asking their local Councillor to promote this.
Personally, I'd ban barbecues from 500 metres of any habitation both as a Statutory Nuisance and an offence against nature but I don't see that having any more traction than banning decking or vast acreages of block paving.
I guess I am very lucky as here there is a garden waste collection every other week during March to October. but all mowing's/strimming's get put on two large, for want of a better word, compost heaps (don't use the compost, leave it for wild life. Bonfires - quite a few. With trees and branches coming down with frequent monotony, especially over the last year, The trunks get cut up as logs and the branches and twigs get piled ready for burning. Always wait till the wind is blowing west to south east (and the weather is fine) so that any smoke does not blow our neighbours way. It is a joy compared with London, where you were not allowed to have fires and had to pay for the bags for garden waste disposal if you used more than one bag. (don't know if that still applies?)
It is a tricky one I suppose, we are not in a smokeless area, we don't have access to gas supplies and some are not on mains drainage. We have loads of trees on our land and we do use some of the wood for the stove with lots of branches, tree trunks etc piled up all over the place for wildlife. But there is so much especially when the evergreen trees are pruned so we do end up having to burn some of it. But as NellyDee said, we too are careful with the wind direction when we do have to do it although to be fair we don't have a neighbour that close. As a small holding we have restrictions on what you can burn anyway, but we like to reuse as much as possible - we have many compost heaps which we don't use for compost but the wildlife love them!
Post by Cotham Marble on Mar 17, 2016 14:21:02 GMT
The ideal 'burn' is something akin to charcoal making - a fire where oxygen is reduced by capping with turves, soil, green material etc. This keeps a high volume of material in the ash and limits what goes into the atmosphere - though using green material does produce a heavy smoke which can be an annoyance. From an environmental erspective some woodland would burn naturally - lightening strike, drought etc and it is part of the cycle of soil enrichment; shredding and composting is certainly the better option where resources are available but in rural areas properly conducted burning shouldn't be seen as necessarily a negative.