If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday, 4 October 2010

Autumn Colours

I took Anna and the dog out for a walk in the woods this afternoon. Don't worry: we all came back alive. Labour had no prior knowledge of our trip. Autumn really has arrived here. In Pembrokeshire, we don't often see the magnificent rich autumn colours - as soon as the weather changes, the gale force winds strip the leaves from the trees before they have a chance to turn. But this year we are at least getting a glimpse of them. I saw this rather attractive fungus growing on a tree stump, next to a clump of montbretian escapees from the garden. I undertstand that these are called 'coppertips' or 'falling stars'in the US, which is rather good.

The leaves are piling up thick on the ground now, which is fun in a kind of childish kick-your-way-through way, but I need to pick them up around the house at least, before they turn to mush and ultimately humus. We laid new gravel round here last year, which looks great but is a pig to ride the bike on, and I don't want it to get submerged in muck like the last lot. Besides which, there is something very therapeutic about piling leaves up and burning them. The smell is wonderful, and it annoys the Greenies. Result.

1 comment:

  1. Posted by Derf, but apparently lost by Blogger:

    "Simple pleasure huh? There are always regulations you know (from direct.gov.uk):

    Bonfires and the law Local councils can act if you, or others, burn dangerous materials or regularly have bonfires. If you are going to have a bonfire, warn your neighbours beforehand and follow these guidelines to avoid causing a nuisance to others.

    Laws about nuisance caused by bonfires
    There aren’t specific laws against having a bonfire, or when you can have one – but there are Acts that deal with the nuisance they can cause.

    Burning domestic waste
    It is an offence to get rid of domestic waste in a way likely to cause pollution or harm to human health, including burning it.

    Burning plastic, rubber or painted materials creates poisonous fumes. These can have damaging health effects – particularly for people with existing health problems, like asthmatics and people with heart conditions.

    This is covered under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

    Environmental Protection Act 1990 Danger to traffic caused by smoke
    Under the Highways Act 1980, anyone lighting a fire and allowing smoke to drift across a road faces a fine if it endangers traffic. If this happens, call the police.

    Highways Act 1980 Find a police force, neighbourhood policing team or police authority

    Think about how your bonfire may affect your neighbours

    There are ways to get rid of your garden waste without having a bonfire If you are having a bonfire, the smoke and smell created by it can annoy your neighbours. Smoke can stop people enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging washing out.

    If your neighbour has a bonfire and it affects you, speak to them and explain the problem. They may not be aware of the distress they are causing – and may have not thought about other ways to dispose of the waste, like composting.

    Complaining to your council about bonfires
    If speaking to your neighbour fails, contact your local council's environmental health department. In most cases, officers from the council will try to deal with the problem informally.

    If the council considers a bonfire to be a nuisance, it can issue an ‘abatement notice’. This notice may mean your neighbour must stop having bonfires completely. If they do not stick to the notice (‘comply’) they face a fine of up to £5000 and a further £500 for each day they don't comply.

    If you do have a bonfire
    If you have a bonfire, warn your neighbours – they are much less likely to complain A bonfire may be the only way of disposing of garden waste that shouldn’t be composted, like diseased wood. If you have a bonfire, follow these simple guidelines:

    •warn your neighbours beforehand - they are much less likely to complain

    •light the bonfire at a time least likely to affect your neighbours, eg not on a warm day when people will be in their garden

    •only burn dry material not damp, which causes more smoke

    •avoid lighting a bonfire when air pollution in your area is high – check the weather forecast, or the Air Quality website"

    Thank you for this very helpful information.


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