Council Leader warns about the dangers of sky lanterns


Windsor & Maidenhead Council is urging residents not to be tempted to see the New Year in by releasing Sky Lanterns on New Year's Eve.    

Councillor Andrew Johnson, leader of the council, said: “Sky lanterns might look pretty but the sad fact is that they present both a real risk of fire and are a serious health hazard to animals. 

“Once a sky lantern is lit, nobody knows exactly where it will land. They can float for miles before they fall to the ground, meaning that a live flame can be deposited on buildings across a wide area. 

“Sky lanterns can cause suffering or even kill animals and livestock. Some of the key dangers are:

  • animals eating lantern debris which can cause tears or punctures to internal organs leading to a potentially life-threatening situation
  • animals getting splinters in their skin which may cause infection
  • animals becoming trapped or tangled in debris
  • frames of lanterns can contaminate crops which are then unknowingly fed to animals   

“Windsor & Maidenhead Council, in common with dozens of other local authorities across the county, bans the release of sky lanterns from council owned land. 

If any residents are thinking of releasing a sky lantern on New Year’s Eve, I’m asking them to consider the damage this could cause and I’m urging them to think again. Please, don’t do it.”