Lincolnshire County Council to consider banning sky lanterns and balloons on public land
Lincolnshire County Council will become the latest authority in the county to consider banning the release of sky lanterns and balloons on public land.
There is no national legislation to control the release of lanterns and balloons, which means local councils have to take their own positions on the issue.
Two authorities in the county banned the activity on council-owned land earlier this year.
Both West Lindsey District Council and South Kesteven District Council said the lanterns were “impossible to control” and can pose a choking or entanglement hazard to natural wildlife and livestock.
Now, Lincolnshire county councillors are to discuss whether to introduce a similar ban on the authority’s land.
The measure follows the increase in popularity of releasing Chinese lanterns into the sky at charity events or other occasions.
Campaigns from animal welfare charities led to councils introducing bans across England and Wales.
Clare Fischer, from the Marine Conservation Society, said lanterns and balloons can be a 'menace' to marine life, livestock and farm animals.
The charity has lobbied for local councils to introduce bans and called on the government to introduce national legislation on the issue.
“In our view, letting go of a balloon or lantern is actually littering upwards but it’s currently not classed as littering and there are no fines,” said Ms Fischer.
“We support any councils which take the decision to ban the release of both balloons and lanterns – our records show that 85 have already got voluntary bans in place.
“We’re still surprised however, at the number of individuals and organisations that have no idea of the dangers balloons and lanterns pose to wildlife.”
Lincolnshire County Council will consider the ban at a Public Protection and Communities Scrutiny meeting on March 17.
More by this authorCalvin Robinson, Local Democracy Reporter