East Suffolk Council is urging people who are planning a private celebration for Bonfire Night to make safety the priority and also think about the environmental effect of any events they stage.
With the majority of public events cancelled this year due to the continued challenges of Covid-19, some people will be planning their own private celebrations at home for Bonfire Night this year. East Suffolk Council, however, wants people to remember the importance of following the official guidelines, including ‘hands, face and space’ and the ‘rule of six’.
Cllr Steve Gallant, Leader of East Suffolk Council, said: “We know that this will be an unusual Bonfire Night for many, and that some households will look to celebrate at home this year. So it’s really important to remind everyone that social distancing and the rule of six is in place in Suffolk and I would be very worried if people took their own safety and the safety of others for granted.”
East Suffolk Council is also committed to protecting the environment and have expressed concerns about the impact of numerous smaller events.
Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for the Environment, said: “We want to encourage everyone who is thinking about celebrating Bonfire Night at home to think carefully about what they’re doing, with consideration for neighbours, the environment and the local wildlife.
“Private events are not only risky given the requirements of social distancing, they can also cause other problems. Bonfires create air quality issues, particularly if there are far more than usual, and the temptation to burn a variety of different products that have been gathered during lockdown is also a concern.
“Please remember that you should never put treated wood, rubber, plastic, foam or paint on a bonfire, and neither should you burn household waste as this can cause pollution and harm to people’s health.
“I also want to ask people to be mindful of the local wildlife when lighting their bonfires. Hedgehogs in particular like to reside inside the stacks of materials bonfires are built of, so please make sure you check for any wildlife, or even pets, before lighting it.
“Another area of concern is fireworks, which can cause great distress and harm to pets, farm animals and wildlife. They can also create air quality issues and come in packaging which can lead to unnecessary litter.
“We always want people to have fun and we know that everyone is desperate for some normality in their lives, however we do still need to think really carefully about what we do and how we behave, for the health and wellbeing of us all. Thinking about making small changes in our celebrations will have a positive impact on our environment.”