Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Chinese Lantern on the Loose

The farm seems to under constant aerial bombardment at the moment from falling debris!  After New Year I picked up 12 Chinese lanterns and I am still finding them dotted around the farm.  Is there a difference between a lantern and a fast food drinks can or an emptied car ash tray tipped out in a gateway littering the countryside (fined if you are caught)?  I don't think so! There is also the problem of animal welfare especially livestock.  The metal support holding the lantern together  is not degradable and can easily be picked up by a sheep's leg or worse, get wrapped around a neck of an inquisitive beast. There is always the risk that they will land in a silage field, be chopped up and then consumed later in the year causing potential death.  Don't forget we share this countryside with deer, badgers and foxes and if they get tangled up in the metal work there is no-one to cut them free.  There is also a very real fire risk should they land before the flame goes out, maybe in a hay barn or on a stubble field, or even on someones thatched roof.

Even if the body of the lantern is biodegradable, how long will it take and do we  therefore have to look at the mess slowly decomposing over the months?  I appreciate that they are a spectacular sight in the night sky but the risks far out weigh the brief moment of splendour, especially if you happen to be the animal that ingests the metal! So please think again before purchasing them and spare a thought for the consequences that may follow on.

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