The nights are drawing in, Christmas fare is beginning to appear in the local shops and the weather has taken on an autumnal feel. Yes, it is September in Britain again.

Already some trees are beginning to lose their leaves while others are starting to change colour. For gardeners, it will soon be time to start raking up the leaves in the garden.

But how do you dispose of them in a carbon-neutral way? The answer largely depends upon where you are, and the space available to you:-

1. Compost– heap the leaves up in a corner of the garden or in black binbags to allow nature to take its course of decay to produce a crumbly  brown fibre-rich leafmould. This is a great soil improver, mulch and lawn conditioner and so is the preferred ‘Green’ option for many gardeners.

2. Bin– if your local authority collects and recycles compostable material then this can be an attractive option if space isn’t available for home production of leafmould. Again a Green option, although you do not receive the benefit of the resulting compost.

3. Burn– often the arrival of mounds of dead leaves is also accompanied by piles unwanted dead wood and other dead garden materials. A bonfire can be considered a carbon-neutral option to dispose of it all, as it only releases carbon back in to the atmosphere which had been previously removed as the plant grew.

Clean-air legislation and local bye-laws limit the areas of the country where bonfires are permitted, especially in urban areas. Even if legally permitted, it is important to recognise that bonfire smoke is a pollutant and classed as a nuisance-hazard. Full consideration of wind direction etc should be taken to avoid the bonfire causing offence or become a hazard to neighbours when lit.

For smaller gardens, an incinerator can be an ideal way to control and contain the fire. These are often shaped like a dustbin or a mesh cage, each design having its devotees.

Whether you are burning your garden debris and leaves in an open bonfire or constrained within an incinerator, the hardest part of the process is often getting the initial fire established. This task can be made a lot easier by using a Grenadier Electric Firelighter.

The Grenadier Firelighter’s powerful, concentrated heat can be directed onto the middle of the bonfire fuel by the built-in fan. It quickly reaches burning point, establishing the fire quickly, efficiently and easily.

Which ever way you decide to dispose of the ‘autumn fall’, try to avoid disturbing drifts of autumn leaves under hedges and other out of the way areas. They could already be in use as hibernating sites by hedgehogs and other creatures.