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Call for Chinese lanterns to be banned from Bedfordshire Bonfire Night events

By Bedfordshire On Sunday  |  Posted: October 30, 2013

A Chinese Lantern

A Chinese Lantern

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BONFIRE Night event organisers in Bedfordshire should ban sky lanterns from this year's festivities according to the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).

The Royal Parks, which manage Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill in London, said lanterns brought into the parks on Bonfire Night by visitors would be liable to be confiscated by the police and now the CLA is urging local event managers to do the same.

Assistant Park Manager for Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, Mark Bridger, said: “Paper lanterns can be dangerous when lit in densely populated areas and cause damage to the park.”

Nicola Currie, East Regional Director of the CLA, said: “No-one wants to be seen as a spoilsport, but these flying bonfires are damaging property and crops, and harming and killing cattle.

“We want a ban for the sake of farming, wildlife, the environment and property owners. To help in this, the CLA East office is asking those who have experienced problems from sky lanterns to contact east@cla.org.uk to help collect evidence to take to Government.

“In the meantime, we are asking councils to add a clause to the Entertainment Licences they issue prohibiting the use of sky lanterns.”

Back in July, a huge fire broke out in Smethwick in the West Midlands involving 100,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material, which was thought to have been sparked by a Chinese lantern.

Although in that case it was not known where the lantern came from, just days after the blaze, Poundland stopped selling them in its stores altogether.

Since then, Chief fire officers have called for an urgent review of the use of Chinese or paper lanterns across the UK.

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