Rural council bans sky lantern releases

A council in rural Wales has joined a growing number of local authorities in introducing a voluntary ban on sky lanterns.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s cabinet will no longer allow sky lanterns and helium balloons to be released on land it owns and controls.

The county has a high concentration of livestock and dairy farms and has called for a communication exercise to make consumers and charity organisations aware of the risks that lanterns pose to animals and property.

Similar bans are already in place by three other Welsh councils (Cardiff, Conwy and Caerphilly) after the Welsh Government called on local authorities to introduce a voluntary ban on sky lanterns and helium balloons.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales, one of the organisations campaigning for lanterns to be banned, welcomed Pembrokeshire County Council’s decision.

The union is urging other local authorities, landowning bodies and retailers to follow the council’s lead.

FUW’s Pembrokeshire county chairman Hywel Vaughan, said: “We welcome the county council’s decision to ban sky lanterns and we regard it as an opportunity to repeat the union’s long-standing campaign for a total ban on them.

“We would also make a similar plea to hotels and other wedding venues to introduce such a ban at their premises.”

Last October, Wales’ farm minister, Alun Davies, wrote to authorities across Wales highlighting the fire risks and warning of the danger and stress that sky lanterns pose to livestock.

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