Moves to ban Chinese lanterns from being let off from council land in Tendring have been backed by a rural campaign group.

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Tendring District Council (TDC) leader Mick Page has asked the authority’s Rural Projects Panel to look at drawing up policy to enforce such a ban.

It follows a similar ban by Great Bentley Parish Council.

Mr Page said: “This is a very serious and worrying subject. No-one wants to be a killjoy but we are talking about people’s livelihoods and it is especially important over the next few months as crops will be coming up to harvest.

“The ground is particularly dry and it will not take much to set alight a field of corn and a year’s work will go up in flames.

“In our rural areas we also have a large number of thatched homes and it is a similar issue for those householders.”

His actions have been welcomed by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) which has been campaigning for a nationwide ban on sky lanterns for two years.

Nicola Currie, Eastern regional director, said: “It is extremely pleasing that TDC is investigating the possibility of banning the release of sky lanterns from its land.

“People need to realise that if they release one of these lanterns into the sky they risk being responsible for the slow and very painful death of a cow or other livestock, or a fire that destroys someone’s home, business or life.

“This follows Suffolk Coastal District Council and Great Bentley Parish Council both deciding to ban lanterns, and we applaud them for taking this stance and becoming a fine example to other councils.”

As well as the fire risk there is also a risk the wire cage can hurt animals.

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