Chinese lantern shower hits Midlands farms

Nearly 100 Chinese lanterns have been found on just 38ha of Northamptonshire farmland. The lanterns, which also caused two hedge fires, were released in the two weeks following the New Year.

The lanterns are made of paper, wire and bamboo and contain a candle. They can float for miles before they land.

Rushden farmer, Roy Marriott, said: “One lantern landed just 20m from my main barn, which is full of hay and straw for winter feed. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, but these lanterns can cause a lot of problems. I’ve had two hedge fires caused by lanterns, and I’ve picked up 50 lanterns on my 28 hectares this month.”

Two other Rushden farmers have reported at least 40 lanterns on their 10 acres of land.

Local veterinary surgeon, Oliver Sheldon, is backing calls for the lanterns to be banned: “They’re advertised as being biodegradable but they have wire inside them, which isn’t. Cattle can eat the metal and get peritonitis, which is deadly. I would like to see them banned.”

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