Sky lanterns and balloons banned from being released across North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 07:55 08 October 2019

Sky lanterns will not be allowed to be released.

Sky lanterns will not be allowed to be released.

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Balloons and sky lanterns will no longer be allowed to be released on North Somerset Council-owned land.

The Marine Conservation Society, an internationally recognised charity for the protection of seas, shores and wildlife, has produced a pollution policy and position statement on balloons and sky lanterns, asking UK authorities to recognise their release as a form of littering and to ban all outdoor releases.

Their use has become commonplace at summer fairs, fundraising events and other celebratory occasions but a ban will apply to council-run events and those hosted by third parties.

Council leader Donald Davies said at the authority's last meeting on September 24 releasing them is a 'self-indulgent habit in this throwaway world'.

He said: "Environmental harm and animal welfare issues caused by sky lanterns and mass balloon releases are of concern to this council."

Piloted hot air balloons are not covered by this policy, while helium balloons may also be permitted when used for research purposes, for example, weather balloons, if supporting evidence is provided.

The council will inform event organisers of the balloon and sky lantern release policy by including relevant information within booking forms and other promotional material.

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