Air pollution

We have a duty to review and assess air quality in New Forest, in accordance with Government guidance.

Industry, vehicles and many other sources can increase the levels of pollutants that cause harm to human health.

We also publish guidance on bonfires and burning materials.

On this page:

Monitoring air pollution in the New Forest

The Environment Act 1995 places a duty on local authorities to review the air quality in their area.

Local air quality is assessed at locations of relevant exposure such as residential properties, schools and care homes. The data is reviewed against national Air Quality Objectives. 

We carry out assessments for the following pollutants in accordance with the National Air Quality Strategy:

  • particulates (PM10)
  • sulphur dioxide (SO2)
  • nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

The pollutants of interest in New Forest are mainly sourced from vehicles and industry. Along Southampton Water much of the shoreline is influenced by industrial development, with the landscape being dominated by one of the largest petrochemical complexes in Europe.

Various monitoring techniques are used including real time monitoring and diffusion tubes, which give pollutant concentrations over an averaging period.

We routinely publish data on air pollution levels in map format via the Air Quality England website. You can view the latest data using the link below.

For historical information on air pollution levels, view the air quality bulletin for New Forest.

Air Quality Management Areas

Government guidance states that if Air Quality Objectives are not being met, or are unlikely to be met, the local authority has to declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). It should then work to improve local air quality in pursuit of the objectives.

We currently have one declared AQMA in Lyndhurst. This area exceeds the annual mean objective for nitrogen dioxide.

Information on the Lyndhurst AQMA can be downloaded below.

Icon for pdf Air Quality Management Order - Lyndhurst [50.18KB]

Icon for pdf Map of Lyndhurst AQMA [131.37KB]

Icon for pdf Lyndhurst Action Plan 2008 [2.54MB]

Icon for pdf Lyndhurst Action Plan Update 2019 [2.82MB]

Air quality reports

We have a duty to produce an annual local air quality report for DEFRA. Since 2016, a summary air quality report must be made available to the public.

You can download reports for 2018 - 2021 below.

Icon for pdf Air Quality Annual Status Report 2021 [3.52MB]

Icon for pdf Air Quality Annual Status Report Summary 2021 [356.06KB]

Icon for pdf Air Quality Annual Status Report Summary 2020 [442.94KB]

Icon for pdf Air Quality Annual Status Report 2020 [3.85MB]

Icon for pdf Air Quality Annual Status Report Summary 2019 [863.73KB]

Icon for pdf Air Quality Annual Status Report 2019 [3.51MB]

Icon for pdf Air Quality Annual Status Report 2018 [2.56MB]

Find out more about air pollution on the DEFRA website.

Smoke control areas

The Clean Air Act 1993 introduced a wide range of new regulations, such as those which control smoke emissions.

There are no smoke control areas within New Forest. However, care should be taken when choosing a fuel to avoid causing smoke problems to your neighbours.

It is recommended that wood burning stoves (or any appliances burning solid fuel) do not have a cap or cowl on the discharge end of the flue that impedes the upward vertical flow of emissions from the flue. This causes the smoke to flow back down to the ground (down-wash) and increases the likelihood of causing annoyance to your neighbours.

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