At this time of year you may be thinking of settling down in front of an open fire. Reading’s many chimneys are often just for show these days, but if you have a fire there are some rules to follow.
Large parts of Reading are designated smoke control areas. Residents of such areas can only burn certain types of fuel that are either ‘smokeless’ or on list of authorised fuels, unless using an exempt appliance. Most of Katesgrove is in the Whitley Rise / Basingstoke Road smoke control area.
A year ago, Reading Borough Council commissioned a survey of residents funded by an air quality grant from the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). The survey was part of an awareness raising campaign.
760 responses were received after 4,000 questionnaires were sent out. Questions covered the use of solid fuels and appliances, storage of solid fuel, awareness of smoke control areas and the effect of air pollution on the household. 203 surveys were sent to Katesgrove residents and 24 were returned, a response rate of 11.8%.
The results of the survey showed that more than two thirds of Reading residents did not know if they lived in a smoke control area. 42% of Katesgrove respondents did know, but only 15% knew what a smoke control area meant.
Reading Borough Council also has some advice on burning solid fuel for those outside smoke control areas.