Published: 10:20, 27 November 2017 |
Updated: 10:20, 27 November 2017
Councillors who supported a ban on sky lanterns and helium balloons insist they are not being "killjoys".
Swale council unanimously agreed to a ban, suggested by Cllr Cameron Beart (Con), at a meeting on Wednesday.
Cllr Beart, who represents Queenborough and Halfway, said the idea was "not to be a killjoy, but to highlight a real danger to our natural environment".
He said: "While these activities may offer a few moments of entertainment, they pose a far more significant risk than many who use them actually realise.
"We are lucky to live in a borough that is rich with farmland, award-winning coastline and internationally-recognised natural environments. All of these are endangered by these activities in one way or another and, through taking action on this, I believe we can educate and work to avoid future damage."
Cllr Beart added lanterns were often caught by the wind and could travel several miles.
"Their path is variable and unpredictable," he said. "If they touch down while still alight, they pose a significant fire hazard to buildings, crops and animals, whereas if they touch down once extinguished, they blight the landscape as litter and can entangle animals or, worse still, can be ingested."
Balloons, he said, took longer to degrade than lanterns.
The release of lanterns on the seafront had become increasingly common, Cllr Beart added.
However, he said, between 2007 and 2012, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the RNLI attributed 1,679 reports of emergencies at sea as having been caused by a sky lantern.
The motion bans balloons and lanterns being released on land owned or maintained by Swale council and at all events it organises, supports, funds or licenses.
This includes public beaches, parks, sports grounds, play areas and woodlands - such as Faversham Recreation Ground, Minster Leas and Milton Creek Country Park.
Council leader Cllr Andrew Bowles (Con) supported the ban. He said: "We shouldn't allow a few moments’ pleasure to have a detrimental affect on the future of this planet and the future of all its non-human living residents."
Cllr Gerry Lewin (Con) added: "As a member of the RNLI station committee in Sheerness I clearly welcome this. It will enable resources, that should be saving lives at sea, to be put to better use."
From academic achievements to engineering accolades and new facilities, Kent College offers students an outstanding school life.
Enter this month’s competition and you could win a luxurious return crossing!Sponsored editorial
There's no uniform or bells and students and staff are on first name terms. School life at Rochester Independent College is unique.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.