Jointly led by the London Boroughs of Camden and Islington, and joined by several others, the London Wood Burning Project is a new public health campaign to raise awareness of the harm caused by wood burning.
A report commissioned by the Project that was released in late 2023 estimates that 284 people die prematurely each year in the greater London region due to homes burning wood. “Every one of those 284 deaths,” they note on the campaign’s website, “is completely avoidable.”
Also attributed to residential wood burning in the greater London area are an estimated 80 respiratory hospital emissions, 60 strokes, 50 new cases of coronary heart disease, 30 new cases of lung cancer, and 90 new cases of asthma in children annually.
The campaign features a mascot called “Burny,” a stylized fanged soot monster that rises from chimneys and spreads through the air. According to the London Wood Burning Project’s campaign toolkit:
The campaign's primary goal is to prompt individuals to re-evaluate their positive perception of burning wood by vividly showcasing the negative consequences, personified by Burny.
Burny is featured alongside statements such as:
Wood burners. It’s scary what they’re doing to public health.
Wood burners. Careless not cosy.