Yard owner warns of sky lantern risk after finding 19 in horses’ fields

  • An owner of a livery yard in Kent is warning others of the risks of sky lanterns after finding 19 on her property.

    Rosie McConnachie-Chapman discovered 19 paper lanterns across 20 acres of her land in Tatsfield near Westerham on Sunday morning (9 August).

    She said the horses were distressed when she checked on them that morning.

    “My clients horses, along with my own, were visibly shaken and nervous,” Ms McConnachie-Chapman told H&H.

    “One [horse] had run blindly through the fencing which caused some damage. Luckily it didn’t injure itself.

    “I am incredibly thankful that our outbuildings and stables escaped harm.”

    She added that the trees surrounding the field could have easily been set alight by the lanterns.

    “I am angry this has happened, but what I want more than anything is to make everyone aware of the consequences of using these lanterns.

    “We have survived what I would consider a very lucky escape but the next person may not be so lucky.”

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    Last month (5 July) H&H reported that a ban on sky lanterns had been issued by a twelfth Welsh council.

    Ceredigion County Council is the latest local authority in Wales to ban the lanterns on land it controls.

    As well as being a fire risk, the lanterns cause problems for horses and other wildlife as the thin wire can cause severe internal damage.

    H&H has reported on several deaths in the past few years of horses that ingested the wire after the lanterns landed in fields.

    RSPCA Cymru welcomed the ban and is urging other councils to do the same.

    Earlier this year the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) also made calls to ban sky lanterns (19 February).

    The NFU launched a letter-writing campaign urging the public to contact their local authorities to introduce a voluntary ban on the release of sky lanterns.

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