Knebworth House supports blanket ban on sky lanterns

Knebworth House has backed a blanket ban on sky lanterns

Knebworth House has backed a blanket ban on sky lanterns - Credit: Archant

A “famous and prestigious” venue is backing a campaign for a blanket ban on sky lanterns over concern they can destroy livestock, homes, businesses and even lives.

The Knebworth House estate is supporting the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) East’s campaign to obtain an outright ban on the sale and release of sky lanterns.

The estate is a renowned live music venue, playing host to the likes of Robbie Williams and Oasis, with rock festival Sonisphere set to take place in July.

Martha Lytton Cobbold, managing director of Knebworth House, said: “The danger posed by sky lanterns to property, livestock and the environment is something we have been aware of for a long time.

“At our open air classical concerts they became very popular. People would bring a picnic and decide to bring these lanterns as well. They look lovely, but they are unmanageable.

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“We no longer allow the use of lanterns, and this has become a general policy for the estate. Our events do not use them, and we don’t allow them. We believe more venues should do the same, and we back the CLA’s stance on a wider ban.”

The CLA supports landowners by advising them on how best to protect and maximise their land.

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Nicola Currie, the eastern regional director of the CLA, said: “The support of Knebworth House for the CLA’s campaign will help tremendously in educating the public on the dangers of releasing lanterns.

“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 grazing livestock, or a fire that destroys someone’s home, business or life.

“A report published last year that investigated the impact of sky lanterns on livestock and the environment estimated that between three and eight million sky lanterns are sold each year in the UK.

“With such a large amount of lanterns being purchased, and ultimately released, it is extremely likely the number of serious incidents caused by these flying bonfires is going to increase substantially.

“Gaining the support of a venue as famous and prestigious as Knebworth House is a tremendous boost for our campaign.”

CLA East recently called for local authorities to amend their entertainment licence policies so new licences for certain venues or events can include a clause prohibiting the use of sky lanterns. The organisation has also called for this to be backed up by a ban on council-owned land.

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