A campaign to tackle air pollution caused by domestic burning has been launched in Saffron Walden.

The clean air campaign, backed by Uttlesford District Council in conjunction with environmental charity Global Action Plan, aims to discourage log burners and open fires - which are the largest source of small particle air pollution (PM2.5) in the UK.

PM2.5 is recognised by the World Health Organisation as the most dangerous source of air pollution because it can enter every organ in the body, and can increase the risk of health problems like heart disease and asthma.

A recent survey of 800 Saffron Walden residents, conducted as part of the Saffron Walden Clean Air Project, found that 63 percent were concerned about the impact of air pollution on their health.

Despite this, 73 per cent burn wood or other solid fuels in a wood burner or open fire, 92 per cent use a wood burner or an open fire at least once a month in winter and 30 per cent light fires in their homes daily.

Larissa Lockwood, director of clean air at Global Action Plan, said: "Our data shows that people in Saffron Walden are concerned about the impact of air pollution on their health, yet many have a major source of harmful small particle air pollution in their home.

"We are working with Uttlesford District Council to share the facts about wood burning with residents so they can make informed decisions to protect their health, their families and their community."


Global Action Plan is organising the nation's first Clean Air Night on Wednesday, January 24, to shine a light on the uncomfortable truth around wood burning and how it harms your health and the planet.

Cllr Neil Reeve, portfolio holder for environment and climate change at Uttlesford District Council, said: "We are very pleased to be involved in the first Clean Air Night.

"We know from the survey that there is a very high use of wood burners in Saffron Walden and we want to use the occasion to highlight the impacts that this has on people’s health and the environment."