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Iain Curry of the Country Land and Business Association urges a ban on sky lanterns in Hampshire

PUBLISHED: 11:08 12 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:08 12 August 2014

Iain Curry

Iain Curry

Archant

Summer evenings in the Hampshire countryside are always a real pleasure but in recent years the sight of partially-deflated sky lanterns passing by has become increasingly common.

There is no doubt that the lanterns are a striking sight. However, their release can cause devastating fires and can kill livestock and other animals.

Made from paper and wire, the lanterns sometimes include wooden parts too. Once lit, they can fly for up to 15 miles. However, if they come down while the fuel for the lantern is still burning they can spark a blaze and are widely believed to be the cause of a number of devastating fires in the UK.

For farmers and landowners, the risk of serious fire is not the only concern. There have been unpleasant and upsetting instances across the country where livestock have ingested the discarded metal frames and died.

These flying bonfires represent a wholly avoidable risk to property, woodland, crops and livestock. And that is why the CLA is asking for the government to ban sky lanterns and for local authorities to include a clause prohibiting the release of them in new or revised Entertainment Licences. We are urging landowners to place a ban on releasing lanterns on their land, and ask that people celebrate special occasions this summer in a safer way.

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