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Air pollution poses a health risk in Nottingham, with wood and solid fuel burning contributing to the issue alongside emissions from transport and construction. Nottingham City Council has implemented Smoke Control Orders citywide under the Clean Air Act 1993 to address this concern.

For further information see GOV.UK:

Stoves and fireplaces

Open fireplaces are considered the most polluting method of burning solid fuels.

To minimise environmental impact, the minimum requirement in the Nottingham City Council area is the use of a Defra-approved stove for the intended solid fuel.

Certain appliances, labelled as 'exempt appliances,' have government approval to burn specific non-authorised fuels, such as clean wood and wood pellets. It is essential to refer to the current list on

Regulations and Standards:

Since January 2022, all new wood-burning appliances must meet EcoDesign standards. The clearSkies stove accreditation scheme, surpassing EcoDesign requirements, recommends purchasing level 4 or level 5 products when replacing wood-burning stoves or fireplaces.

If you are planning to replace your wood burning stove or open fireplace we recommend purchasing a clearSkies level 4 or level 5 product.

Any appliance or fireplace should also be properly maintained and your chimney should be swept regularly.


Only smokeless fuels, known as 'authorised fuels,' can be burned in domestic properties in Nottingham. Examples include natural gas and anthracite. Wood and garden waste are not authorised fuels, and burning them can result in emitted smoke.

Exempt appliances allow the use of normal wood and smokeless fuels. Kiln-dried or seasoned wood with lower moisture content is less polluting and more efficient.

Fuel Storage:

Proper fuel storage is crucial to prevent dampness. Woodsure Ready to Burn labelled wood is certified to have low moisture content. Avoid burning old pallets, furniture, or scrap wood, as they may contain harmful contaminants.

Coal and briquettes

The Clean Air Act restricts smoke emissions in Smoke Control Areas, covering the entire Nottingham City Council area.

  1. It is an offence to emit smoke from a chimney of a building (including domestic buildings), from a furnace or from any fixed boiler if located in a designated Smoke Control Area.

  2. It is an offence to acquire an ‘unauthorised fuel’ for use within a Smoke Control Area unless it is used in an ‘exempt appliance’ (ie an appliance exempted from the controls which generally apply in the Smoke Control Area for that particular solid fuel) lit and operated in accordance with the manufacturers instructions (using firelighters).

The maximum fine for each offence is £1,000.


Understanding and adhering to regulations regarding smoke control areas and wood burning stoves are essential for maintaining air quality in Nottingham. Residents are encouraged to choose eco-friendly appliances, authorised fuels, and responsible burning practices.

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