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Call for sky lanterns ban amid fears for Norwich's Mousehold Heath

PUBLISHED: 10:52 24 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:52 24 July 2018

A call has been made for a ban on sky lanterns: Pic:: Chiang Ying-ying / AP

A call has been made for a ban on sky lanterns: Pic:: Chiang Ying-ying / AP

Archant

A call will be made tonight for Norwich City Council to ban sky lanterns, amid heightened fears they could spark fires during the hot spell.

Denise Carlo, leader of the Green group on City Hall will table a question about the sky lanterns at tonight’s full council meeting, seeking agreement that the lanterns should be banned by the council.

She said: “Norwich has had very little rain for several weeks now. The threat of fire is now heightened and some areas of Norwich, especially Mousehold Heath, are vulnerable.

“I’m concerned that a fire started accidentally by a sky lantern could do enormous damage.”

She said Mousehold Heath is home to a number of notable species, including Juniper Haircap Moss and Bell Heather, which supports bumblebees.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has been called to Mousehold Heath a number of times since the hot spell began because of fires on the heathland.

Ms Carlo said sky lanterns have been responsible for fires such as at the Smethwick Plastic Recycling plant in 2013 and, this week, a blaze which destroyed part of a house in Wiltshire.

A number of councils, including Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council, North Norfolk District Council and West Norfolk Council, have already banned the release of sky lanterns from their land.

Concerns have been repeatedly raised by countryside campaigners that the frames of lanterns can harm or even kill livestock and wildlife if they are ingested, fields of standing crops and buildings are at risk of being set alight, while littering is also a problem.

The meeting where Ms Carlo’s question will be raised takes place at City Hall at 7.30pm.

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