More than 60 Frisians gathered to protest against the wood stoves at a meeting in Leeuwarden on Thursday evening.
Almost nothing is as ‘gezellig’ as a wood-burning stove, and it is a very cheap source of heat, popular in Friesland and across the Netherlands. Unfortunately, burning wood has two disadvantages: it harms the environment, and neighbours often suffer ill-effects from it. On Thursday evening, more than 60 people gathered at the Stenden Hotel to have a meeting urging the government to take action against wood-burning stoves.
At the moment, people who experience nuisances from their neighbours wood-burning stoves must submit a ‘request for enforcement’ at their municipality, before it will act. The speakers at the event suggested, backed by national government figures, that wood smoke is just as harmful as cigarette smoke, and causes much more particulate matter than traffic fumes.
A woman who lives behind Leeuwarden station said to the Leeuwarder Courant that ‘when I returned by train from the Randstad about 15 years ago, I immediately smelled the wonderful fresh air when I stepped out. Nowadays that is much less the case. It is not only wood stoves in the house, but even more by wood stoves on the terrace. You feel like you are being over-sensitive when you complain about it, and the municipality does nothing.’