‘Ignorance’ to blame as horses narrowly escape falling sky lanterns

  • Ignorance and a lack of consideration for others are behind the dangers caused by sky lanterns, a horse owner believes.

    Caroline James and her fellow liveries at a yard near Caerphilly found the herd of nine horses “huddled together” in one of their three connected fields last Saturday morning (28 October).

    They quickly spotted that the land was strewn with brightly-coloured sky lanterns, and one livery realised she had heard a commemorative event was due to take place on Caerphilly Mountain, for a man who had died.

    Caroline’s post on the issue, on a local group on Facebook, has received widespread attention.

    “One of the people who’d been on the mountain said he was really sorry and hadn’t realised the consequences,” she told H&H.

    “It’s ignorance. People don’t understand the consequences of their actions. If you could educate them, it would make a massive difference, but it’s just getting to them.”

    Caroline added that letting off balloons or sky lanterns is littering.

    “If someone drops rubbish on the floor, it’s an offence,” she said. “So how is it any different to let something off to fly through the air? It’s got to come down at some stage.”

    Caroline wants to raise awareness of the issue and intends to write to her local council as a starting point.

    “Thankfully none of the horses were hurt, it could have been much worse,” she said.

    “You see these terrible pictures [of injured horses]. What we don’t know is what happened in the intervening time; were the horses going round trying to avoid the lanterns?

    “Raising people’s awareness [is key]; I don’t know how to do it.”

    RSPCA Cymru is campaigning for councils in Wales to ban the release of sky lanterns, and 17 of 22 including Caerphilly County Borough Council have done so, but this only applies to council-owned land, which does not include Caerphilly Mountain.

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