Burning Do’s and Don’ts


  • Have sufficient people and equipment available to control the fire properly.
  • Have consent from Scottish Natural Heritage, if a fire will be within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) where burning is listed as an ‘Operation Requiring Consent’ (ORC) (See the Sitelink webpage for ORC details for all sites).
  • Inform the proprietor of the land concerned and occupiers within 1km of the proposed location where it is intended to burn, unless they have indicated in writing that they do not want to receive notification.  The notification must be given after the end of the previous muirburn season, but not later than seven days before starting muirburn.  It must be in writing (including text or e-mail), but if ten or more people need to be notified, a notice may be placed in a local newspaper circulating in the area instead.
  • Provide, if requested, additional information about dates, location and extent of the proposed muirburn to landowners and occupiers within 1km of the proposed muirburn, no later than the end of the day before burning.


  • Burn between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.
  • Burn within 30m of a public road.
  • Leave a fire unattended.
  • Cause damage to any woodland, neighbours’ property or a scheduled monument.
  • Create smoke that is a nuisance.
  • Endanger anyone’s health and/or safety.
  • Intentionally or recklessly:
    • Damage the natural features of a SSSI.
    • Harass birds listed in Schedule 1A of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
    • At any time take, damage, destroy or interfere with any nest habitually used by any wild bird included in Schedule A1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
    • Disturb or destroy the nests, eggs, or young of breeding birds, or obstruct or prevent a wild bird from using its nest.
    • Kill or injure reptiles.
    • Kill, injure or disturb protected mammals, such as badger, wildcat, otter, pine marten or water vole (for water vole, protection is limited to within the burrow).
    • Damage or destroy the place of shelter of a protected mammal (all the above species).