Shropshire Star

Chinese lanterns banned from Shropshire Council property

While sky lanterns may look impressive, they pose a serious fire risk to animals and the countryside, according to Shropshire Council.

Banned - sky lanterns

Members have now voted unanimously to ban the use of sky lanterns on council-owned or managed property.

The decision was made at a meeting of the full council yesterday.

It comes following a motion from Councillor Dan Morris, for Burnell, who branded them a “serious hazard” to property, the environment and animals.

He is also urging parliament to use its powers to ban their use across England.

“After the flame has been extinguished it falls to earth and can take decades to degrade,” he said.

“And at a time when we have seen little rain, it’s easy to see why they are such a fire threat.

“Even in winter they are a risk because they can so easily be blown into a barn or property.

“I have seen many comments urging Shropshire Council to ban them.

“We should also be putting pressure on the government to ban them outright.”

Shropshire is the latest in a long line of councils to make the decision to ban sky lanterns on their property.

Councillor Kevin Pardy, for Sundorne, said he had dealt with a number of fires started by Chinese lanterns in the last few years.

He added: “They’re not just a problem in the countryside, but in towns too. They are a menace to cars, barns and especially houses with thatches roofs.”

The RSPCA and National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales have long campaigned for a ban.

In Shropshire, a campaign was started by farmers in Shropshire to highlight the dangers of lanterns as far back as 2013.

It came after a lantern caused a blaze at a West Midland recycling plant in Smethwick, one of the largest ever in seen in the region, in which 10 fire fighters were injured.

Firefighters warned about the danger of lanterns to the urban West Midlands.