What you can burn in a smoke control area
You can only burn fuel on the list of authorised fuels published by DEFRA, or any of the following ‘smokeless’ fuels:
- low volatile steam coal
You can be fined up to £1,000 if you burn unauthorised fuel in a smoke control area.
Some fireplaces are exempt because they can burn other types of fuel without producing large amounts of smoke and emissions. Visit the DEFRA website to view the list of appliances that are exempt.
For further information on open fires and wood burning stoves read DEFRA’s practical guide.
Sale of firewood and domestic coal
The Government introduced regulations from 1 May 2021 for the sale of domestic fuel in England to improve air quality - this included:
- mandatory certification and labelling requirements for manufactured solid fuels and dry wood sold in volumes under 2mᶾ
- providing advisory information to customers for sales of wood fuel in volumes of 2mᶾ or more
- ban on the sale of bituminous (house) coal
Businesses who supply non-compliant fuels are committing a criminal offence and can be fined or face prosecution.
Retailers wanting advice can contact our Trading Standards team.
If you have a concern about non-compliant fuel sales, please contact Citizens Advice.
Smoke control areas deal with smoke from buildings and not from burning in the open, so you can use outdoor:
- pizza ovens
Any of these appliances however that release smoke through a chimney in a building, such as a summerhouse, can only burn authorised fuel or be an exempt appliance.
You are allowed to have garden bonfires in smoke control areas but there are certain rules you must follow. For further details please visit our bonfires page.
If you live in a smoke control area further information is available from DEFRA’s Do you know the rules? guidance.