Readers' letters: Don't use sky lanterns

Sky lanterns are posing a risk to creatures and the countryside.

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 11:45 am
Sky lanterns are posing a risk to creatures and the countryside says The Wildlife Trust

We are concerned that lanterns, being flown as a show of support for NHS workers during the coronavirus lockdown, could cause serious problems for wildlife.

Sky lanterns are paper-covered wire or bamboo which are powered by a flame inside. They can frighten and kill birds, if they get tangled up in the wire or string attachments. There is also a choking hazard if wildlife sees the material as food.

Our staff and members will be on the doorsteps clapping in support of the courageous and outstanding job being done by our NHS workers and other care staff.

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However, we would encourage people not to use sky lanterns because of the damage they can cause. We don’t want our support for the health workers meaning more work for other emergency workers like the fire service.

It would be wonderful to ask people to make stationary, decorated lanterns that can be used on the street during the clapping in support of the NHS – photos could record their beautiful designs and be displayed on our website.

The RSPCA reports that 200,000 lanterns are flown each year, which do untold damage to the countryside.

The Wildlife Trust supports calls by the RSPCA and the fire service to ask people to stop using sky lanterns.

Moorland fires devastated many square miles, killing hundreds of thousands of creatures, during the hot summer of 2018.

Director of Conservation

Tim Mitcham

Campaigns Manager Alan Wright

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside