Ban on use of ‘dangerous’ sky lanterns on Rother land

A COUNCIL has taken action against ‘dangerous’ sky lanterns which put property, agriculture and animals at risk.

Rother District Council has banned launching the devices from its land – including beaches and parks – and is encouraging people not to launch them from private land.

The move comes in the wake of a ‘misguided’ campaign encouraging the public to light the lanterns as a show of solidarity for NHS workers during the coronavirus crisis.

Rother has joined dozens of councils across the country in speaking out against the campaign, which has been criticised by the National Farmers’ Union and the National Fire Chiefs Council.

Cllr Doug Oliver, Rother District Council leader, said: “Sky lanterns might look pretty but they are highly flammable and risk causing untold damage, as people have no control over where they land.

“They can destroy acres of crops, food stores and farm buildings, kill or injure livestock or wild animals and put people’s safety at risk, particularly if they land on hazardous material sites.

“At a time when our emergency services are working tirelessly during a national emergency, the last thing they need is to have to waste their time on unnecessary fires caused by sky lanterns.

“We all want to show our support for the heroic efforts of the NHS during this crisis, but I’m afraid this misguided campaign risks putting even more pressure on our emergency services.

“I would strongly urge anyone thinking of setting off sky lanterns to think again – the best way to show your support for the NHS is to stay at home and stay safe.”

Published: 15th April 2020