NFU gathering evidence to help UK-wide sky lantern ban

The NFU is calling for a complete ban on the release of sky lanterns
The NFU is calling for a complete ban on the release of sky lanterns

Farmers who have been impacted by sky lanterns are needed to share their story as the NFU gathers evidence to help campaign for a UK-wide ban.

To date, more than 160 councils across the UK have banned sky lanterns, recognising the danger they pose to animals and the environment.

The products are often made of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a lit candle is suspended.

Once released, they can drift for miles. On top of farmers' animal welfare concerns, sky lanterns are also a serious source of litter in the countryside.

But more evidence is required from farmers and growers to help the NFU campaign for a nationwide ban on the items.

Over 7,000 people have taken action and encouraged their local council to ban the release of lanterns on council-owned land using the union's campaigning tool.

The NFU said: "After the success we have had lobbying councils to implement bans, we are now looking to gather further evidence on the impact of sky lanterns to be able to take next steps.

"As a result of recent campaign work from the NFU, a number of councils across England are now adopting bans on sky lanterns on council-owned land."

It comes as FarmingUK recently shared a video from Merseyside arable farmer Olly Harrison, who pleaded with the public to stop using the items.

He found a burnt out sky lantern on his farm last month and warned that the devices can harm livestock and set fire to property.

Fortunately, he did not suffer crop or livestock losses. However, with his arable fields, livestock, barns full of bales, and a shed full of wood chippings means this is a constant worry and stress.

The video has been viewed by more than 2 million people and has been shared 50,000 times.