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Crop residue burning

There are various regulations controlling the burning of heather, grass and crop residues.

They are;

  • The Crop Residues (Burning) Regulations of 1993
  • The Heather and Grass (Burning) Regulations of 1986
  • The Highways Act of 1980 (as amended in 1986)
  • The Clean Air Act of 1993
  • The Environmental Protection Act of 1990
  • The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
  • The Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981


These regulations are lengthy and most farmers and landowners are aware of their responsibilities, so the following is just a brief summary;

  • burning is only allowed between 1 November and 31 March in lowland areas and 1st October and 15th April in upland areas. At other times, you can get a licence only in very specific circumstances
  • you must give not less than one day or more than seven days of written notice to neighbours, owners and occupiers of the land
  • you must not start burning between sunset and sunrise
  • you must ensure that sufficient people and equipment are on hand to control the fire
  • you must take all reasonable precautions to prevent injury or damage to people and animals
  • you must follow special arrangements and plan well in advance if burning on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
  • you must not cause a nuisance through the creation of smoke
  • you must not create dark smoke
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