A letter in a local paper highlighted something which has bothered me for some time – Chinese Lanterns – at least those which are taking to our skies in ever increasing numbers. Only a couple of weeks ago I witnessed a squadron lifting off from a party in the Albany Walk area of Ilkley to head south across Ilkley Moor. Are people so devoid of common sense to realise Ilkley sits in a valley surrounded by moorland? Moorland which, as we saw in 2006, catches fire very easily irrespective of the time of year. Are they so unaware of what could and in some circumstances does happen when these things return to earth?
Those who live and/or make their living from the countryside are all too aware of the damage these lanterns cause. The Country Land & Business Association and National Farmers Union are highlighting dangers the lanterns pose. From fire damaged crops and buildings to animals ingesting, by accident, the frames and having to be put down afterwards. People moving to rural areas must be made aware of how stupid something used in a city environment can cause endless harm and destruction in the countryside. It is interesting to note one of the countries to ban their use is China.
Who are these people who do such stupid things in rural areas, likewise who in the BBC sanctioned use of them to promote programmes? Did they have permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to fly them en-mass?