How to report a bonfire and what we can do

Tendring is not a smoke free zone and therefore people are allowed to have bonfires in our district.  We also do not have any time restrictions for bonfires in our area.

When complaining about a nuisance bonfire, be prepared to keep a detailed diary of dates and times of the bonfires and how they affect you. This will help our officer in their investigation.  The bonfires need to be around 3 - 4 times a week for us to investigate.

PLEASE NOTE: We will only look into complaints if the bonfires happen on a regular occurrence or are emitting very thick dark smoke.

Every year our Pollution team receive a large number of complaints about bonfires causing a repeated nuisance.  The Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows us to take offenders to court should their bonfires cause a nuisance to neighbours. (i.e. have an unreasonable effect on their enjoyment of their home or garden).

To report a nuisance bonfire, please either fill in the contact the Council form , email us on or call us on 01255 686767.

Do and Dont's

Such nuisances need never arise if due consideration is shown to our neighbours.  Should you decide to have a bonfire, kindly note these recommendations:-

DO NOT burn damp grass clippings or ‘green’ material as this creates thick smoke.

DO NOT burn any oily rags, rubber, plastics, damp garden waste or other materials which would inevitably create heavy smoke or toxic fumes.

DO NOT leave your fire unattended. Never leave a fire to smoulder for long periods. Hose it down until cold before you leave it.

DO advise your neighbours that you are going to have a bonfire, so they can be prepared in case they have any washing out or windows open.

DO Choose your bonfire site carefully - away from any trees or fences.

DO have water available in case the fire gets out of control.

Other ways to dispose of your waste

You can dispose of your waste at the following Recycling centres for Household Waste:-

  • Maltings Lane, Kirby Le Soken
  • Rush Green Road, Clacton on Sea
  • West End Lane, Dovercourt
  • Greensmill, Lawford

View our Local Recycling points page for information about locations and opening times etc.

Alternatively, our contractors Veolia can collect up to 3 large items for a small charge. You can contact them on 01255 431620 to find out their current charge and to arrange a collection. If your items are in working order, you can contact the following numbers who may be able to take them for you:-

Tendring Re-use Employment Enterprise - 01255 863007
The Furniture Scheme - 01255 476068 (as long as the items are fireproofed)

Contact details

Environmental Services
Council Offices
Thorpe Road
CO16 9AJ
Tel: (01255) 686767

Useful links

Government advice about celebrating bonfire night

Last updated on: 31/08/2017 - 11:03