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Balloon and sky lantern release restrictions

Published Tuesday, 26 June 2018

balloons released into air

In a move to protect people, animals and property releases are no longer permitted from our venues or council supported events.

Balloon releases and sky lanterns can look great going up but they can cause serious problems when they come back down to earth.

Both have been identified as a choking hazard for wildlife and farm animals. Balloons, plastic parts, wire and ribbons can all be eaten by animals causing a risk of choking or internal damage.

In addition they can get mixed together with grass cut for silage which is then  fed to livestock.

Sky lanterns pose a further risk as a fire hazard with the potential to spark fires in crops, heath, moorland, forestry and buildings. They can also cause injury to people and animals.

Debris from balloons and lanterns can land anywhere and create litter which is unsightly and incurs costs to clear up. Latex balloons take an estimated six months to degrade in the environment, longer still if they land in water.

The ban on balloon and sky lantern releases is to be included in all letting and licensing agreements and park and building management rules.

The policy relates only to the deliberate release of sky lanterns and helium balloons and the mass release of balloons - individual balloons and balloon decorations are still permitted but it is always best to reduce the risk of tears by tying a small weight to a child’s helium balloon (plastic weights are often provided by vendors) or securing it with a knot.