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Restrictions on mass balloon and sky lantern releases

Sky lanterns and the mass release of balloons are banned from council-owned land.

The reason for the ban is the risk they pose to wildlife and livestock. There have been documented cases of livestock or other animal loss, including cattle, horses, sheep and goats as a result of ingestion of parts from sky lanterns and balloon debris. Entrapment and panic are also known issues affecting livestock and wildlife.

Furthermore, sky lanterns pose a documented fire hazard and a significant risk to the proper and effective operation of coastal rescue services.

We have adopted a code of conduct for staff and councillors to follow on this issue.

A ban on mass balloon releases, and a ban on the release of any sky lanterns whatsoever, is included within the terms for leasing council land for all events:

We encourage landowners, parish and town councils and event organisers to consider doing the same.

Some fun alternatives to mark a special occasion or raise money:

  • Planting a native tree, flower or butterfly garden.
  • Flags, banners, streamers, ribbons and dancing inflatables.
  • Kites and garden spinners.
  • Bunting.
  • Tissue paper pompoms.
  • Floating flowers.
  • Lighting candles and lanterns.
  • Blowing bubbles.
  • LED lights.