A SURGE in complaints about smoke from bonfires has led to a plea to Richmondshire residents to think about their neighbours.

The District Council has seen the number of complaints about troublesome smoke rise by over 160 per cent in the last few weeks as people burn waste after tidying their gardens and allotments.

But with the coronavirus pandemic causing serious respiratory problems smoke inhalation can make this worse – and it is also not good for people with existing conditions such as COPD and asthma.

As well as the adverse health effects smoke disrupts household activities - drying washing and disturbing people who are continuing to work from home, forcing them to close doors and windows despite the warm weather.

Now environmental health officers are urging people to compost their waste, use their fortnightly kerbside collections of garden waste or take rubbish to the reopened tips.

Anyone undertaking building work should make sure the builder does not burn waste, but instead dispose of it in a responsible and legal manner.

Music in gardens and continuous noisy DIY - especially late at night – is also being discouraged as it can disturb people, especially key workers who are working from home.

Everyone is living and working in unprecedented conditions and we urge them to consider others when undergoing household work or engaging in leisure activities,” said the council's corporate director, Callum McKeon.

“Our environmental health team is currently busy advising and helping businesses to adjust to working in a covid secure way.

"We ask that people assist them by not causing an unnecessary drain on time and resources particularly at this time.”