Yorkshire councillor campaigning to ban sky lanterns and balloons in parks and council-owned land

A call has been made to ban the release of balloons and sky lanterns in parks council-owned land in Doncaster due to harmful effects to wildlife.

A motion is set to be presented by Bessacarr councillor Majid Khan calling on council executives to ban the practice which is supported by a number of organisations including the RSPCA and the National Farmers Union (NFU).

Many groups and organisations are backing a ban as lanterns have caused fires to farm buildings, destroying food crops and even killing wildstock.

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Balloons released into the sky have caused problems with litter in rivers and pose a threat to wildlife who think its food while others get trapped and strangled by the deflated objects.

Doncaster. Picture: Adobe Stock.Doncaster. Picture: Adobe Stock.
Doncaster. Picture: Adobe Stock.

A number of councils have already banned the practice but there is currently no concrete law which makes it illegal to do.

The motion, which is also seconded by Coun Sarah Smith, reads:

To ban the release of sky lanterns and balloons on all Council-owned land and public open space;

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To discourage the release of Sky Lanterns and Balloons at any events licensed by Doncaster Council and ensure any third parties who lease Council property observe the ban on balloon and sky lantern releases;

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To delegate authority to the Director for Economy and Environment, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways, Infrastructure and Enforcement to make any consequential changes to council policies and agreements in relation to the use of Council land as a result of this motion;

To promote information to local people, leading to better understanding of the damage balloons and sky lanterns have on our environment.

Coun Khan, said: “Many organisations have drawn attention to the problem of sky lantern and balloon releases and the call to ban such releases nationally is supported by the Marine Conservation Society, RSPCA, RSPB, BASC and the National Farmers’ Union.

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“The releasing of sky lanterns may appear an impressive sight, but they can be dangerous and there is no way of predicting where they will land.

“There is currently no national legislation available to control this issue, but in order to demonstrate the council’s continued commitment to improving the attractiveness of the borough and tackling the detrimental impact of debris resulting from such releases, I propose that the council supports the motion.”

The motion will be debated at a meeting of the Full Council on Thursday, January 20.