Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Chinese lanterns causing risk to crops, livestock, property, wildlife

You may have seen some strange "UFO" lights drifting above our area recently. These are Chinese lanterns, wire-framed miniature hot air balloons with a candle inside them.

These can be hazardous for various reasons. In dry weather, when they land they can set fire to crops or even damage conservatories with plastic frames or roofing. If the wire frames get into animal feed they can cause serious injury or death, and if they drop into lakes they can injure wildfowl such as swans.

If you're going to use Chinese lanterns, we suggest that you don't launch them when the ground is dry, and that you only buy versions with a biodegradable alternative to wire.

There's a good video about the dangers on the Direct.Gov website.

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