CLA East is appealing for people in West Norfolk to back its ban sky lanterns campaign by not releasing the “flying bonfires” as part of their festive celebrations.
With Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties inviting an upsurge in use, the CLA – which represents country landowners – fears that it is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident.
CLA East regional surveyor Tim Woodward said: “Sky lanterns are no more than flying bonfires. They are serious fire hazards and also endanger the lives of grazing livestock as well as other wildlife, and create unnecessary litter.
“Those releasing lanterns have no idea of the hazard they pose, nor do they consider the implications of releasing a naked flame with absolutely no control over where it will land.
“While lanterns that land in fields can get chopped up when farmers mow for silage or hay, resulting in fragments of wire in the forage. Cows, which naturally tend to chew things to check them out, get the wire trapped in their gut, resulting in a slow, agonising death for the animal.”
Norfolk, Essex, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire county councils have all implemented bans on the release of sky lanterns from their land and property this year, while Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils also outlawed the release of lanterns.
Earlier this year, National Parks England, the association providing a collective voice for the views of the 10 English National Park Authorities including the Broads, stated there was “increasing concern about the use of sky lanterns and their potential impacts on the countryside”. While the Government issued guidance before Bonfire Night that stated lanterns “can kill animals, litter the countryside and start fires”.
CLA East is looking to collect evidence of damage caused by sky lanterns to take to Government. Those who have experienced problems caused by sky lanterns falling on their land, should contact email@example.com, call 01638 590429, or address tweets to @CLAEast.