Environmental enforcement

In order to improve the local environment, our skilled team has a responsibility for educating Northumberland residents about environmental matters and taking remedial action whenever necessary. Find out more, and how to report any issues to us, here.

The following public health notices have been issued

The Castle, 158 Woodhorn Road, Ashington, Northumberland NE63 9EN 

Notice is hereby given that on 13th October 2020 the Council gave a Direction pursuant to regulation 4(1) 


Breakers Pool Bar and Lounge, Front Street West, Bedlington 

Notice is hereby given that on 27th October 2020 the council gave a Direction pursuant to regulation 4(1) 


Clayton Arms, Palace Road, Bedlington 

Notice is hereby given that on 27th October 2020 the council gave a Direction pursuant to regulation 4(1) 

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste. It can cause a range of problems for people, animals and the environment.

For the incident to be dealt with as efficiently as possible, please record as many of the following details when reporting: 


  • Did you witness the fly-tipping? 

  • Did you see any vehicles involved? 

  • What items have been tipped? 


Please don’t try and move the items yourself as they could be hazardous. 
It is the responsibility of the landowner to remove the waste. We will investigate the issue, but we are not obliged to remove it. If fly-tipping is reported on private land, we will try to contact the landowner. 

What are the problems? 


  • It is estimated to cost £100-£150 million every year to investigate and clear up fly-tipping, and this cost falls on taxpayers and private landowners. 

  • Fly-tipping poses a threat to humans and wildlife and damages our environment. 

  • Areas subjected to repeat fly-tipping may see a decline in property prices, and local businesses may suffer from people staying away.  

How you can help to reduce the problems? 


You can report any public area that has a littering problem by clicking the link below.

Click here for the Environmental Enforcement Fixed Penalty Notice Policy 2017

Sites must have a waste management licence to store, treat, sort or burn waste of any description. To report an illegal waste site, click on the link below.

Anyone who collects, carries and disposes of waste for gain, and doesn’t have a licence issued by the Environment Agency, is an unauthorised waste carrier.

Authorised waste carriers will always be able to produce their licence, along with a receipt showing the time and date of the waste collection and where it is going for disposal. 
To report an unauthorised waste carrier, click on the link below. 


Any motor vehicle abandoned on the highway or in a public place can be reported. Please give details of registration numbers where possible.

To find out more about reporting a motor vehicle click here
We will remove graffiti from any property in Northumberland. A small fee may be charged in some cases. We’ll also ask the property owner to sign a disclaimer, as the removal process can sometimes damage certain surfaces.

We aim to remove any obscene graffiti within 24 hours of receiving a report. 

Posters or advertisements posted in a public place without permission are classed as fly-posters. It’s illegal to attach posters or any form of advertising to signs or street furniture, such as lampposts or benches. We will remove any fly-posters we find, and legal action may be taken.

Our dedicated enforcement officer can deal with horses illegally tethered or straying on public authority land. However, horses running loose or causing a nuisance should be reported to the police.

Although unsightly, horse waste isn’t toxic and so we are unable to remove it. However, if you feel that excessive horse waste is a problem in your area, please contact us and we may be able to speak to the horse’s owner.  


Highway obstructions are the responsibility of highway inspectors. However, we can help deal with these matters.

If you are concerned about dog fouling in a public area, you can report it to us.

We can deal with privately owned vacant buildings which are either:

  • Not secured against unauthorised entry. 
  • Are likely to become a danger to public health. 

​Any reported derelict and unsecured buildings are the responsibility of the public protection department. They will ensure the buildings are secure and don’t pose a threat to public health. 

The owner of the building will be issued a notice. If they don’t comply, we can do the work and re-charge for the cost. 


We will deal with the accumulation of rubbish wherever possible.

For example, if the accumulation can be seen to be harmful to health, we can serve a notice of removal under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. 

If the waste is on private land, we will not remove the waste at NCC expense. We can serve a Community Protection Warning and a Community Protection Notice under the Anti-social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act 2014 on a tenant or owner of the property to remove the waste at their expense. This is not a quick solution and takes some time to produce results and may lead to a prosecution. 
If it is not removed, the person who received the notice can be prosecuted and the cost of removal will be re-charged. 


Northumberland County Council of County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF (“the council”) is the seizure authority for the purposes of regulation 2 of the 2015 Regulations.

White Ford Transit Tipper
The seized property was seized at 17:46 on Thursday 15 February 2024 at 104 Newcastle Road, Blyth, Northumberland. 

Red ford transit van 
The seized property was seized at 08:15am on Friday 15 October 2021 at Market Square, Lynemouth, Northumberland 

Black and white Ford flatbed tipper truck 
The seized property was seized at 4:50pm on Friday 13 August 2021 at 39 St Cuthberts Road, Holy Cross, Wallsend 

Paying Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN)

If you've been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice you can pay in the following ways:  


  • Online - you can pay online by visiting https://fpnss.northumberland.gov.uk/ remember to have your FPN number and card details ready. 

  • By phone - call Customer Services on 0345 600 6400 to make a payment if you do not have your FPN reference number or your home address is outside of Northumberland. 

  • In person - at one of our Information Centres (contact us on 0345 600 6400 for opening times and directions to your nearest Information Centre). 

  • By post - send a cheque or postal order with the detachable payment slip to: Northumberland County Council, Cashiers, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF. 

Click here for the Environmental Enforcement Fixed Penalty Notice Policy 2017 

The release of sky lanterns and helium balloons is not permitted from land that is owned by Northumberland County Council. We have advice on alternatives and information for event organisers on considerations they will need to take.

Sky lanterns, also called Chinese lanterns, consist of paper and a wire or bamboo frame with an open flame.

The heat source lifts the lantern into the air where it can then float for miles from where they were released.

Sky lanterns have grown in popularity and are released into the sky at night at events such as weddings, festivals or commemorative events.

It is impossible to control where the lanterns will eventually land, so they pose a number of potential hazards.
Helium-filled balloons are also sometimes released at events and similarly there is no control over where they end up.

There are two types of helium balloon, foil balloons and latex balloons.
  • Foil balloons (often referred to as mylar), are a bladder made of nylon that is covered with a layer of aluminium.
  • Latex balloons are made from the sap of rubber trees – a natural substance and are biodegradable.
  • Injury to wildlife and livestock - animals and birds may eat parts of sky lanterns or deflated balloons when they come down on land or in the sea. Parts may be accidentally chopped into animal feed during harvest. Sharp parts can damage an animal's digestive system and balloons may block it. Animals and birds may also get caught up in fallen wire frames or string and suffer injury and distress in struggling to get free or starve to death.
  • Fire - falling sky lanterns may set fire to buildings, dry standing crops, forestry, stores of hay/straw, peat moorland, etc.
  • Litter - balloons and lanterns cause litter when they fall back to land, or into the sea or other water bodies.
  • Air safety - balloons and sky lanterns may be drawn into aircraft engines or may be a distraction to pilots.
  • Rescue services - sometimes lanterns are mistaken for distress flares. HM Coastguard and lifeboats have been called out on false alarms due to lanterns. The National Fire Chiefs Council has issued a position statement that it does not support the use of sky lanterns and asks members of the public and event organisers to refrain from using them.
Sky lanterns and helium balloons are not allowed to be released from council owned land.
We would strongly encourage anyone considering a sky lantern or balloon release to look at an alternative option instead.

Consider using kites, balloons on strings, lanterns hung on trees or, if it is intended for a memorial, a candle lit vigil, or the sharing of poems and thoughts together may be appropriate alternatives.

These alternative options would not inadvertently release plastic waste over the countryside, which can harm animals and the environment.

Balloon industry code of practice

The balloon industry has produced a Code of Conduct, with input from leading environmental organisations.

The council advise anyone releasing balloons to closely follow the NABAS Code of Practice. These guidelines include a limit to the number of balloons that should be released, releasing only balloons made from appropriate material, and that no materials such as ribbons or strings are included or attached to the end of any balloons that are released.

Civil Aviation Authority

It is a requirement that if you are releasing more than 5,000 balloons you must apply in writing for permission to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) at least 28 days in advance of the release because balloons can interfere with air traffic.

The CAA offers guidance for anyone planning a major firework, laser show or sky lantern or balloon release.  If releasing between 1,000 and 5,000 balloons, you should also seek advice from the CAA on what steps you need to take.

Risk assessments

Event organisers or venue managers are subject to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and must ensure that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment has been completed prior to allowing the launch of sky lanterns.

They must also:
  • Not launch sky lanterns in built up areas.
  • Avoid launching near roads, especially major roads or motorways.
  • Avoid standing crops or forestry, especially in dry conditions.
  • Not launch balloons or sky lanterns within 5 miles of any airport.
  • Inform the air traffic control at any airport or airfield and within 10 miles of the proposed launch site.
  • Inform the CAA if there is any airport or airfield within 10 miles of the proposed launch site.
  • Inform HM Coastguard if the sky lanterns are released near the coast or at sea.

Need more information?

Civil Aviation Authority
Code of Conduct for Balloon Releases