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Suffolk: Lantern plea ahead of Chinese New Year

PUBLISHED: 09:38 31 January 2014 | UPDATED: 09:38 31 January 2014

Jonny Fuller with some of his Long Horns at Spinney Abbey Farm Wicken, between Newmarket and Ely

Jonny Fuller with some of his Long Horns at Spinney Abbey Farm Wicken, between Newmarket and Ely

Archant

Farmers and union leaders have repeated their call for a ban on sky lanterns ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations.

Lanterns are traditionally released on January 31 as a symbol of good luck. But farmers and key groups including The NFU and Marine Conservation Society (MCS) have urged people to find other ways to celebrate to avoid harming property, livestock and wildlife.

The release of lanterns was blamed for a huge fire at a recycling depot in the west Midlands last year and cattle have died from ingesting the fine wire that can get chopped with grass and end up in silage.

Jonny Fuller, who keeps a herd of 100 longhorns at Spinney Abbey Farm at Wicken, near Newmarket, supports a ban. One of his cows died three weeks after giving birth, after ingesting what is thought to be a sky lantern.

He said: “We had a couple on land we rented. We had a cow push a calf out about six weeks early and then it turned really funny with us. A couple of weeks later she dropped down dead.

“When the knackerman came I said ‘Let me know if you find what killed it’. He phoned up later to say they had found wire.”

The 35-year-old said the impact on small farms could be devastating. He added: “People don’t think about it. They think it’s up in the sky and it’s disappeared forever.”

A spokeswoman for the MCS said balloons and sky lanterns were “dangerous pieces of litter” that are increasingly being mistaken for marine distress flares and posing a threat of entanglement and ingestion.

Six beach huts in an Essex seaside town have been ravaged by fire after a blaze last night.

Police are urging people to come forward with information following a rape in Colchester and have released an efit image of a man they want to trace in connection with the incident.

New parliamentary constituency proposals have been published – which show that in Suffolk the Tories may well have held Ipswich if the new boundaries had been in place at the general election.

A female arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life following a house fire in Ipswich has been released on police bail.

Storm Ophelia will see winds reach speeds of up to 80mph on exposed coastlines as amber weather warnings are issued for Northern Ireland, but East Anglia will avoid dangerous weather.

Two charities in Bury St Edmunds are set to benefit from a glittering night out featuring top stars and entertainers.

Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher’s son – former army captain Christopher – has died, it has been reported.

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