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Sky Lanterns

From Mo Norwood

Monday, 29 December 2014

Not wishing to be a killjoy, but... I saw some gruesome photos that accompanied this message, dead birds, crop fires, burnt animals and a scarred child....

"the National Farmers Union would like to urge all our readers to not use sky lanterns during New Year celebrations.

Sky lanterns can not only cause serious fires to crops and buildings but the frames of lanterns can harm or even kill farm animals and wildlife if they are ingested or landed on, while littering is also a big problem.

Concerns have also been raised by airports, fire services and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency over the similarity to distress flares.

If you see a shop selling 'environmentally friendly' or 'farmer friendly' lanterns, they most certainly are not and still pose massive risk.

A number of local authorities have already taken steps to ban the release of lanterns on their land, including Chesham Town council, Waveney District Council, and more recently Essex County Council and Warwickshire county council, while Stockport Council in Greater Manchester is the latest local authority to consider a ban."

From Myra James

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Thanks for drawing attention to this Mo. The RSPCA has issued a warning about use of these devices: See this page.

I'm sure it should be possible to have a good time at New Year without sky lanterns and all the risks they pose.

From Kez Armitage

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

It's not only sky lanterns that are the problem - fireworks are equally as bad.

I know so many people who have to have their pets sedated on bonfire night and at the New Year. But imagine what it must be like for wild animals and birds, cowering in the dark, absolutely petrified, as the valleys resound with bangs and cracks. And of course, in our confined valley the effects are accentuated. And it gets worse - the firework season is extending, and it's not unusual for displays to take place at any time during the dark evenings.

"Spoilsport!" say some "It's only a bit of fun for the kids". And yes, it 'only' is, I suppose. But this gratification comes at a cost. If you don't care about wildlife, if you put a moment's thrills, spills and chills ahead of a respect for the countryside, then there's nothing I say that will change your mind.

The best thing that's happened in Hebden Bridge in the past two year in the demise of the bonfire and firework display on Calder Holmes. Do the kids really mind? Probably not, and even if they do, they'll get over it. What about the charities that will lose out? Well can't you just give without expecting something in return? You can go online and donate to most charities.

But I don't want to detract from Mo's powerful post about sky lanterns. There are so many reasons why they should be banned.

From Paul Clarke

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

I was just wondering if anyone know if there is an extensive use of sky lanterns round here?

From Myra James

Wednesday, 31 December 2014 4

'm inclined to agree with Kez re fireworks. A good firework display is certainly a spectacular sight but I would be happy to see further restrictions and can't see any reason why untrained, unlicensed individuals should be allowed to buy them and let them off. After watching the Hebden Bridge fireworks every year for several years, I stayed at home one year where I witnessed my dog curled up in foetal position in a chair, shaking, for the duration. I made sure I stayed home to comfort him thereafter.

Balloon releases are also a cause for concern. My heart always sinks when I see charitable and other events marked by these, with their associated dangers to wildlife.

Another pet hate of mine is those wretched plastic rings used on 4-packs of beer. Also dangerous to wildlife and wholly unnecessary. When I find one on the ground I usually pick it up, cut the rings with my nail scissors and hope for a nearby bin for disposal.

From Andy M

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

I wouldn't expect people to have to take my pets into consideration on the 2 'official' firework nights - it was my choice to have them and people are free to enjoy 'traditional' celebrations.

The effect on wildlife could be more of a consideration but would need evidence - this from the RSPB

Agree re: lanterns etc

Happy New Year anyway!