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MP steps up sky lantern ban campaign

20th April 2020

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has stepped up her campaign to ban the use of ‘sky lanterns’ across the county.

The MP has campaigned for the ban for six years following a serious fire at Croft Farm Leisure Park, near Tewksbury, which saw the destruction of more than 80 caravans. An investigation by the county fire service confirmed that a sky lantern was the cause of the inferno.

Manufacturers of sky lanterns are encouraging people to use them to say thank you to the NHS each Thursday night – but their use has been criticised by fire service chiefs, local authorities, country land-owners and farmers.

Worcestershire County Council, Wychavon District Council and Malvern Hills District Council have already barred use on their land and Malvern Hills Trust warns that these lanterns pose a serious fire risk and should not be used.

Harriett commented: “We all want to say thanks to the NHS but sending ‘unguided flame throwers’ into the sky is not the right way of doing that, especially as it risks causing extra work for our emergency services if a fire takes hold.

“I first made the case six years ago to Government that these should be banned, and I understand that Ministers are once again looking into bringing about a formal ban.

“I plan to continue lobbying central Government for national action, but I hope that this is a step that will be welcomed locally, particularly by farmers who see sky lanterns as a serious menace to crops and to livestock.”

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