"The release of sky lanterns and balloons is akin to random fly tipping" - Dorothy Fairburn CLA Director North

The CLA is calling for councils to ban sky lanternsThe CLA is calling for councils to ban sky lanterns
The CLA is calling for councils to ban sky lanterns
We welcome Richmondshire Council’s recent decision to ban the release of sky lanterns on their land

They are joining at least 50 other councils which have already banned this menace, with some also banning the release of balloons.

The CLA and other rural organisations have been calling for a total ban on the release of sky lanterns for many years. Earlier this year, the CLA campaigned against an initiative to release sky lanterns every Sunday to honour the NHS.

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We contacted all rural MPs and it was great to see so many of them support us. There was a lot of traffic on Twitter, all highlighting the risks lanterns pose to rural life and the environment.

Our call was in line with Defra and the National Fire Chiefs Council which warned about the dangers of lighting sky lanterns, especially in the first few months since the national lockdown when we had warmer weather and drier conditions.

There are more environmentally responsible ways to show our support to the NHS and mark celebrations around Halloween, and New Year. It is an extraordinary waste of money that could really be better spent elsewhere. Plant a tree!

The release of sky lanterns and balloons is akin to random fly tipping as one never knows where this litter will land. It also poses a fire risk in dry summer months, but throughout the year, for instance, if it should land on a thatched roof. In addition, it also endangers livestock, and wildlife on farms and our natural environment.

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We have had to deal with livestock farmers whose animals had ingested the wireframes and other detritus left over from sky lanterns: deadly for animals and heart breaking for the farmer.

The CLA has written to Lord Gardiner, the Rural Affairs Minister at Defra, calling on the Government to ban the use of sky lanterns.

We continue to urge councils who have not yet introduced bans to give it some serious consideration.

During lockdown, the public enjoyed escaping to the countryside, and it is my hope that this would have resulted in treasuring it a bit more. Would it not be wonderful if the unacceptability of releasing of sky lanterns and balloons became a social norm?

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