Re­minder lan­terns are banned

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Lor­raine Weir

Rev­ellers join­ing in Bon­fire Night fes­tiv­i­ties next month are be­ing re­minded that Chi­nese lan­terns are banned through­out the area.

West Dun­bar­ton­shire Coun­cil be­came one of the lat­est lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to pro­hibit the bea­cons, which are a proven fire risk, ear­lier this year.

They joined neigh­bour­ing Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil and Stir­ling Coun­cil in ban­ning the lan­terns the Na­tional Farm­ers Union (NFU) Scot­land say pose a dan­ger to wildlife, forests and live­stock.

The union has teamed up with Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park to ap­peal to the pub­lic and lo­cal busi­nesses to avoid us­ing the lan­terns as Bon­fire Night ap­proaches.

Direc­tor of con­ser­va­tion and vis­i­tor op­er­a­tions at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park, Si­mon Jones, said:“Bon­fire Night is a much-loved tra­di­tion and whilst we want ev­ery­one to have a fun and safe time; we would ask the pub­lic, lo­cal busi­nesses and event or­gan­is­ers to con­sider the detri­men­tal im­pact lan­terns can have.

“Sky lan­terns can seem like an in­no­cent way to cel­e­brate spe­cial oc­ca­sions but un­for­tu­nately they can cause un­in­ten­tional dam­age as there is no con­trol over where they land. We want ev­ery­one to en­joy the cel­e­bra­tions but it is im­por­tant to high­light the dan­gers sur­round­ing th­ese items as many peo­ple may not be aware of the po­ten­tial harm lan­terns can cause to lo­cal wildlife and the en­vi­ron­ment.”

NFU Scot­land an­i­mal health and wel­fare man­ager, Penny Mid­dle­ton, added: “Across the UK, there have been many re­ports now of fires started by lan­terns and harm to the health of live­stock when lan­terns have landed in farm­ers’ fields and have been eaten. There is a fur­ther risk to stock when grass is cut and used for win­ter feed, and the wire is chopped up and sub­se­quently con­tained in hay or silage.”

The park author­ity has writ­ten to busi­nesses ask­ing them to avoid us­ing lan­terns at events held on their land.

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