Norfolk Wildlife Trust has signed Norfolk County Council’s Sky Lantern and Balloon Release Charter, which urges individuals and organisations to ditch harmful releases of helium balloons and sky lanterns and try new and innovative ways to mark important occasions.
The Trust has never allowed balloons or sky lanterns to be released from its nature reserves, to protect wildlife and the environment.
Head of Nature Reserves at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Kevin Hart said: “We are pleased to be supporting Norfolk County Council's Sky Lantern and Balloon Release Charter. In 2018 71 balloons were found just at NWT Cley and Salthouse Marshes. Releasing helium filled balloons and sky lanterns causes many problems; leftover parts from sky lanterns and balloons can trap or choke wildlife and livestock, and can end up as litter in the countryside, on beaches and in the sea.”
Cllr Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council Cabinet Member for Environment & Waste, said: “We would love people to banish the helium balloon and leave the sky lantern at home as these outdated ways of celebrating are harmful, particularly to animals. Please do encourage your organisation or business to sign the charter to pledge not only that there’ll be no sky lantern or helium balloon releases on their land, but also to promote new and sustainable ways to celebrate, such as using giant bubbles and flying kites or streamers. Help us showcase all the fantastic ways we can choose to celebrate an important event while respecting the environment at the same time!”
The charter is for anyone, whether it’s a large organisation or just one person. Everyone can choose to pledge to use safer and more environmentally friendly ways to celebrate and not allow the release of balloons or lanterns on land they own.