Richmondshire District Council

How air quality is measured

Air quality in Richmondshire is measured using diffusion tubes on lampposts or drainpipes on buildings near roads.

Measurements are taken for about a month before being sent to an independent laboratory for analysis.

There are currently 15 tube locations across the district. All of these locations can be found on the nitrogen dioxide site map.

Air quality reporting 

By law, councils have to review local air quality and assess whether health-based air quality objectives will be achieved.

If it's predicted that they won't, an air quality management area (AQMA) must be designated. We would work with North Yorkshire County Council to develop an air quality action plan which would include measures to address air pollution.

There are currently no designated AQMAs in Richmondshire.

We've been monitoring air quality since 2001. Over that time, we've collected a large amount of data. The monitoring results are reported annually to Defra.

New guidance means that annual status reports have now replaced the previous progress reports or updating and screening assessments.

View the air quality annual status report 2022. You can also view the latest letter and appraisal report demonstrating approval of the latest report by Defra. 

View historic air quality reports.

There's more air quality information on the Defra website

Reducing air pollution

There are many ways that we can help reduce air pollution and make the environment safer and healthier for ourselves and others:

  • walk, cycle or scoot more in your leisure time or when travelling to school or work. This will benefit you both physically and mentally. 
  • avoid unnecessary burning at home such as a stove or open fire, unless it is your only form of heat.
  • if you rely on wood for your heating, use materials such as dry wood or approved manufactured solid fuels. Look for the 'ready to burn' label on wood and logs in the shops so you know they have been dried and will burn more efficiently. View the open fires and wood burning stoves guide for practical tips.
  • when driving switch off your engine when you're stationary, and if possible try to choose electric vehicles.
  • avoid burning garden waste where possible as it produces smoke, especially if the waste is green or damp.
  • take household waste such as old furniture, building materials to one of our household waste recycling centres instead of burning it.

Contact us

If you're concerned about air quality in Richmondshire, contact us at

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