Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Smoke gets in your eyes

Down at the allotment we have been having trouble with the neighbours. It's the age-old problem that has caused fractious relations between gardeners and their neighbours since forever: the bonfire. Gardeners need to burn their rubbish. Bonfires produce smoke. And anyone unfortunate enough to live downwind of that smoke usually finds the experience distinctly unsettling.
(Perhaps the eviction of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden had nothing to do with apples and snakes, but an unfortunate misunderstanding concerning the burning of some autumn leaves).
Most of the time you can get away with it. With a bit of sensitivity - waiting until the wind is in the right direction, only burning the stuff when it is good and dry - it is possible to have the occasional bonfire without sparking off civil war.
On the Bromyard allotments, however, it has all gone a bit far for that. There is a new block of flats just across the road, and they have been getting very narked at the smoke coming their way. Voices have been raised. Threats have been issued. It has all got very nasty.
It is not nice of course having smoke blowing in through your bedroom window. But the allotments were there long before the flats were dreamed of. Are they telling us that we are going to have to run our allotments without ever being allowed to burn our old prunings and cabbage stalks? Are these people for real?
I can foresee the next complaint. Every spring I go to a nearby stables and stock up with horse manure for the following year. What with the noxious smells, the environmental disturbance and the health risk, I expect to be on the receiving end of a restraining order before the year is out...


dee said...

Were in the same boat here! My council now insist that we burn only in winter [when windows are closed]As soon as the whether warms up and people are out on their balconies and gardens...Its banned!
We still get the odd screaming loony in Winter though..Cant win!
Compromise! They dont know the meaning of the word..

Paul and Melanie said...

That's interesting, our site is in the middle of nowhere but we're now allowed bonfires at all (to be fair there is one thatched cottage near by that could be the reason) which seemed a bit odd to me at first. There is a large communal dumping ground for the kind of rubbish you'd normally burn but i've not been there long enough to see what happens to that once it gets too big...