Call to ban sky lanterns in south Lincolnshire

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South Holland District Council is being urged to ban sky lanterns ahead of Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve in order to protect the area’s residents, businesses, and environment from the “enormous” risks they pose.

The CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, has contacted representatives at each of Lincolnshire’s councils, asking for the release and sale of lanterns on their property to be outlawed.

CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said: “The fire risks associated with releasing sky lanterns is significant, posing a threat to homes, businesses and lives in both urban and rural areas.

“Our campaign to have lanterns banned has been running for almost three years and is supported by the RNLI, The Chief Fire Officers Association, and Local Government Association (LGA).

“A total of 25 councils in England and the majority of Wales’ 22 local authorities, have already banned them.

“A council ban sends out a strong message to the public that this is a very important issue and highlights to the public the risks associated with releasing a sky lantern.

“It would be a real boost if Lincolnshire’s councils backed our stance and helped ensure that someone’s home, property, business or life isn’t destroyed by one of these flying bonfires.”

The organisation also wants councils to feature information on their websites regarding the dangers of releasing lanterns and a plea to the public to reconsider their use, removing any guidance detailing the safest way to use them.

Mr Underwood added: “We strongly object to any guidance that suggests there is a safe way to light and release lanterns, because the safest thing to do is not to light them at all. They pose an enormous fire risk, and endanger the lives of both humans and animals.

“Even after it has finished flaming, the fuel cell of a lantern can register a spot temperature of over 200°C – and even after two minutes it can be around the 100°C mark.

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

A council spokesman said there had not been any requests to launch sky lanterns from its land but any such requests would likely be rejected.

• Do you think sky lanterns should be outlawed? Email spaldingeditor@jpress.co.uk with your views.