Landowners issue Halloween sky lantern plea

Landowners have called on Halloween and Bonfire Night party-goers not to release sky lanterns as part of their celebrations.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is concerned that the lanterns, which are constructed from paper, a wire or wooden frame and a lighted candle, are a fire risk and a danger to animals. 

The organisation made the plea to local authorities, community groups and private individuals.

See also: Wales’ chief vet issues sky lanterns plea

CLA eastern region director Ben Underwood said: “While Bonfire Night offers a chance for people to enjoy themselves, we would like them to do this without releasing sky lanterns.

“The fire risk associated with these lanterns is significant, posing a threat to homes, businesses and lives in both urban and rural areas.”

Mr Underwood warned that the fuel cell of a lantern could remain hot after it had stopped producing flames and landed.

The cell can be more than 200C immediately after the flames have gone out. It can still be 100C two minutes after that, he said.

Mr Underwood also emphasised the risk to livestock.

“Lanterns landing or crossing fields can panic livestock. The biggest concern to farmers is that their animals can suffer a slow, agonising death if they ingest debris from spent lanterns.

See also: Farmers in Chinese lantern plea after mass skyfall

The CLA is campaigning for a total ban on sky lanterns.

CLA director of external affairs Shane Brennan said: “The CLA has been successfully campaigning on this issue for more than two years now and many areas have banned the use of sky lanterns as a result.
“We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, but the public should be aware of the serious dangers that these lanterns pose, not only to environment but also to humans and animals alike.
“The campaign for an outright ban of these lanterns has momentum and we will continue to lobby for a parliamentary debate to have the issue brought back into the national spotlight.”

A number of councils from Scotland, Wales, the West Country, Cheshire and East Anglia have already banned the release of sky lanterns from their land.

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