Do not release sky lanterns for the NHS, says Arun council: this is why

Arun District Council has urged residents not to release sky lanterns to celebrate the NHS tonight (April 16), and this is why.

Each Thursday since the lockdown, people up and down the country have stood outside their front doors to applaud NHS and care workers as they try to get the coronavirus pandemic under control.

But a new campaign has been spreading asking people to light a sky lantern for the NHS.

In response, Arun District Council said: "Releasing sky lanterns on council land is banned as they are a serious fire hazard that pose a risk to livestock and wildlife, as well as thatched properties and hazardous material sites.

Arun council is urging people not to release sky lanterns to show their appreciation for the NHS

"The council works closely with both the Marine Conservation Society and Keep Britain Tidy to maintain the cleanliness of Arun’s land and beaches and the lanterns can also cause serious littering problems."

Dr James Walsh, leader of Arun District Council, said: “We are strongly urging people not to launch Chinese lanterns for the NHS and carers on Thursday.

"The council already prohibits them from its parks, gardens, proms and other land as there is a danger of fires being set on thatched roofs, scrub and common land, as well as the very real danger to cattle and other animals of getting their mouths or jaws caught on the metal frames.

"Our emergency services are already overstretched and don’t need more hazards. The littering of the countryside is also unacceptable.

"Let’s stick to the quickly-established Thursday evening demonstration of our appreciation for carers by clapping and banging a pot or pan instead.”

Sky lanterns, which are also called Chinese lanterns, are a sort of hot-air balloon made of paper.

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