Wood-burning Stoves: Fraud

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 16 November 2023.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to support local councils to tackle illegal log burning.

Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Burning logs is not illegal, but we have introduced policies to reduce emissions from wood burning. These include:

  • Restricting the sale of small volumes of wet wood (less than 2m3) - wood sold in small volumes must have a moisture content of 20% or less, and
  • Making it easier for local authorities to enforce smoke control area rules by replacing the criminal offence for smoke emissions with a civil penalty regime.

The Environment Improvement Plan (EIP) sets out further measures to reduce emissions from wood burning. These include:

  • Publishing outdoor burning best practice guidance.
  • Extending the solid fuels legislation, including to fuels burned outside.
  • Tightening the limits that new stoves in Smoke Control Areas must meet.
  • Driving a shift away from older, more polluting appliances to newer appliances which meet our tough new emission standards.
  • Continuing our targeted communications campaign to promote best practice when burning.

As set out in our recent Air Quality Strategy, we also continue to work with local authorities to help them tackle emissions from domestic combustion in their communities. This includes funding relevant local projects through our 2023/24 Air Quality Grant.

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