Air monitors to be installed around Sheffield allotments due to fears over bonfire fumes

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Air monitors will be installed around Sheffield allotments after fears that bonfires are causing pollution in the city.

Residents are concerned about bonfires at the Meersbrook and Heeley allotments on Cat Lane and the impact they are having on air quality.

The council’s allotment advisory committee has consulted with Public Health England for advice.

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The science indicates there is no direct evidence nationally of a link between the burning of bonfires and respiratory health issues in houses surrounding allotment sites but the committee wanted to look into it further with a local approach.

Gleadless Valley councillor Cate McDonaldGleadless Valley councillor Cate McDonald
Gleadless Valley councillor Cate McDonald

Monitoring equipment will use remote telemetry to monitor atmospheric pollution.

The results will be compared with data from Carfield School, where other monitoring is taking place.

Gleadless Valley councillor Cate McDonald said: “The allotments are loved by many, and we’re certainly not looking at changing anything at present, but it’s right that this is monitored to see what the impact is, and then make any changes accordingly.”

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The costs have been authorised by Labour councillors as part of the allotments budget.

The council’s allotment handbook says fires are only permitted between October 1 and April 30 and that people should avoid burning on weekends and bank holidays and composting should be used wherever possible.

It adds: “Smoke nuisance generates a number of complaints each year and the council reserves the right to ban fires where there is a persistent problem.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.