A landowners’ group is appealing to local councils to take action to ban the use of sky lanterns.
The CLA (East), which is based at Kentford, has warned that with the festive season, and New Year’s Eve in particular, likely to see a rise in lantern use, it feared it was only a matter of time before there was a serious accident.
“Sky lanterns are serious fire hazards, they also endanger the lives of grazing livestock as well as other wildlife, and create unnecessary litter,” said regional director Nicola Currie.
“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.
“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 an agonising, slow death for the animal.”
Local councillors across the Newmarket area are now being urged to follow the lead taken by their counterparts in Oxfordshire who have already added a condition to their entertainment licence policy so new licences for a venue, or an event, prohibit sky lanterns. This has been backed up by a ban on council-owned land.
Earlier this year the Journal reported an incident at Wicken when a cow died three weeks after giving birth after eating what was thought to be a Chinese lantern.
Farmer Jonny Fuller, who keeps a herd of 100 Longhorns at Spinney Abbey Farm, and supports a ban, said at the time: “The cow became really aggressive and three weeks later she dropped dead out of the blue.
“This wire had gone through her stomach lining into her lungs resulting in gangrene and a painful death.”
Now CLA East is collecting evidence of damage caused by sky lanterns to take to the Government.
Those who have experienced problems caused by sky lanterns falling on their land should contact on 01638 590429 or email firstname.lastname@example.org