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Bonfires on campus

Bonfire events

Bonfires need a lot of organising and can quickly become out of control, especially in dry conditions, putting extra pressure on the emergency services. Bonfires can also cause additional problems for those with respiratory illnesses putting extra pressure on the NHS, therefore, bonfires are not recommended on campus.

If after careful consideration, you decide to have an event with a bonfire, you must follow the event notification process below. The Environment Agency have also produced a Regulatory Position Statement - Burning waste on campfires and bonfires: RPS 50.  this sets out conditions for having bonfires for traditional events.


Event notification process

The university has a process in place to control events held on university premises. This is to ensure that each event is properly planned and managed by ensuring that a risk assessment is completed, and suitable control measures are in place by the organiser. The event notification process is managed by the Events Team and it should be noted, the event notification form and risk assessment should be submitted a minimum of 28 days before the event. Please see Code of Practice 33:- Event Management and the online Guide to Planning Your Event (Events Guide - University of Reading).

The process is applicable to any event with a bonfire planned to be held on university grounds.


Bonfires for the purpose of waste disposal

Staff should be planning activities likely to generate additional waste and using disposal routes already available to the university. The use of bonfires for the purpose of waste disposal should only occur under exceptional circumstances and only after liaising with Sustainability Services. Should a bonfire be deemed suitable an application for an Environmental Permit or Exemption would be required. See  The D7 exemption for more information on the conditions and type of activities which can be carried out.


Should you wish to have a bonfire for the purpose of waste disposal you must first contact Sustainability Services