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Farmers raise concerns over sky lantern festival

Sky lanterns_44052

Farmers have again raised their concerns over the dangers of sky lanterns, as a festival releasing the lights announces four new dates.

Shine Up Festival has announced four new dates for the lantern-releasing festival, in Maidstone, Kent; Potters Bar, Hertfordshire; and two sites yet to be named.

Concern and anger expressed by farmers over the potential damage this could cause to their livestock and land has led to the Maidstone, Kent festival being temporarily cancelled.

The NFU continues to engage with local councils and encourages them to ban the use of sky lanterns wherever possible to protect the welfare of livestock and farmers' land.

NFU chief land management adviser Sam Durham said: "Sky lanterns pose a very serious risk to livestock and the NFU continues to encourage councils to ban the lanterns in order to ensure that farmers are able to continue their work without worrying about additional, unnecessary dangers.

"It's important to point out that it's not just farm animals which can be affected. Sky lanterns can cause fires to crops, grassland on moors and bales of hay and straw that have been stacked, which could lead to a loss of buildings.

"The NFU has already seen some councils ban the use of sky lanterns and we would encourage more to follow suit. Members of the public, and farmers, can play a big part by writing to their local councils spelling out just how dangerous sky lanterns can be.

"Although the festival uses biodegradable lanterns made of bamboo, this is still not enough to minimise the risk that sky lanterns pose. Bamboo is still a hardy and sharp material that can pose real risk to farmers' livestock."

The NFU's Love Your Countryside campaign has produced a leaflet warning event organisers of the dangers of sky lanterns. The release of the lanterns may look attractive but the effects on farm can be extremely damaging.

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  • Posted by: KarenPosted on: 19/06/2017 12:07:39

    Comment: We are working hard with NFU and other interested parties in promoting the most up to date fire safety advice for thatched home owners and have updated our Thatch Fire Safety Leaflet to reflect the forensic and Fire Protection Association research on this. Our concern is also over the use of sky lanterns and the risk they pose to thatched buildings, as well as to farmers and their land and livestock.
  • Posted by: Stephen KillickPosted on: 20/06/2017 16:23:33

    Comment: These lanterns are never a good idea but in the current hot, dry conditions they are downright dangerous.
  • Posted by: toniPosted on: 20/06/2017 16:54:23

    Comment: Surely they are not only a risk to farmers and thatched buildings. Who know where one of these lanterns may fall down, it could just as easily be in a city.
  • Posted by: Amanda Wesson Posted on: 23/06/2017 09:36:20

    Comment: These lanterns may look pretty but they are so dangerous they should be banned. Please think about others before using them.
  • Posted by: Val WorthingtonPosted on: 26/06/2017 14:57:53

    Comment: Just ban them!!
  • Posted by: Naomi HemingwayPosted on: 27/06/2017 16:32:16

    Comment: In this day of Health & Safety, it seems mad that the release of lanterns and balloons is allowed. i try not to be a kiljoy but these are really one step too far. Clearly a fire hazard and a risk to animals that might eat the debris when it falls.

    Should definitely be banned.
  • Posted by: Ray DunnPosted on: 28/06/2017 15:03:50

    Comment: I've picked up quite a few from our hay fields sloping towards the local village. Fine wire, spiky bamboo and in some, something like heavy duty fishing line. Time it was chopped up a bit by the mower and baler. Then our horses winter that would be pretty lethal!
  • Posted by: KatrinaPosted on: 22/09/2017 19:21:28

    Comment: A couple of minutes enjoyment for one may be a miserable life or end of life for another.
    Living in a thatched property, owner of horses and living near a cattle farm they are far too dangerous for all.
    I too think they should be banned, however Pretty they may look.
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