Air quality

Effects of burning solid fuel on local air quality

Consider what you burn

As you may be aware from the local media; Harborough District Council and North West Leicestershire District Council are working together to try and determine the impact that burning solid fuel has on local air quality.

The solid fuel air quality project Harborough District Council

This DEFRA funded project will investigate the levels of tiny polluting air particles - known as PM2.5s - from the burning of solid fuel on wood burners, wood stoves, barbecues, chimineas, or bonfires - and how it might affect air quality and people living in the area.

We recognise wood burners are often a sought-after feature for people’s homes and have seen a rise in popularity in recent years. We also anticipate more use of solid fuel as the cost of energy and living generally rises.

We want to raise awareness in the local community about how these particulates can impact our health and to encourage households to burn appropriate and clean fuels. Particulates in wood smoke have been linked to health problems. These include asthma, heart disease and lung cancer.

We have selected North Kilworth as the focus of the project as it is an area which is predominately off-gas (i.e. without a mains gas supply) and there are a number of older properties in the village that are more likely to have solid fuel appliances.

As part of the project you may notice air pollution monitors being fixed to locations in the village. We will be monitoring for several months to get an overall picture of the local levels of pollution over the year.

How can you help?

Complete the survey and enter into the prize draw

Crucial to the project is support from residents. We are asking you, and others in your neighbourhood, to complete an online questionnaire. using the following link at Air Quality Questionnaire ( .  If you prefer to complete a hardcopy version of the questionnaire, please call 01858 828282 to request one.

As part of our local focus group you will be entered into a prize draw to win one of a variety of prizes, from days out at local attractions to high street shopping vouchers.   

We really appreciate your support – your answers will help us understand more about air quality and solid fuel burning across the district. The questionnaire will be open until 30th May 2023.

What happens next?

Our monitoring will continue for 12 months, and during that time we’ll also use various methods to raise awareness about solid fuel with our residents.

We are not looking to ban the use of solid fuel burners, but to encourage households to use the most appropriate fuel and to maintain their appliances to make sure they are operating as efficiently as possible.

The survey will be repeated at the end of our project, to check whether residents are more aware of the issues around solid fuel.

We want to share any learning we gain from this project to the wider community to help reduce local air pollution and minimise the impact on individuals’ health from the effects of burning inappropriate solid fuel.

Thank you very much for your support. Please complete the survey at  Air Quality Questionnaire (

If you have any questions about the project please email or call 01858 828282.