Wood Smoke Stories

Officials don’t take issue seriously

There are several open fires or woodburners near me and the air often smells of smoke. I have written to my four local councillors twice over 15 months and only one has bothered to reply. I have also met with my MP. None of these elected representatives have taken the issue seriously.

The government is drafting new cleaner air legislation, but the suggested measures do nothing to address the use of legacy stoves or prevent people burning what they like (only the sale—not the use—of the worst fuels will be prevented). Given what we know about the health impacts of PM2.5, it is very frustrating that the onus is on the people adversely affected by smoke to prove nuisance, not on the user to do no harm.

Gains in air quality over the last several decades are being eroded and governments need to be brave and take bold action.