Peak District National Park statement on the Manchester/Birmingham Lights Festivals on 28 July 2018

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 3 July 2018

6 July 2018 - UPDATE

We're pleased to see that Buxton Raceway yesterday evening stated that the planned Lights Fest for 28th July will now not take place due to fire safety concerns.

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the Peak District National Park said: “We welcome the decision by Buxton Raceway to cancel the Manchester/Birmingham Lights Fest at Buxton on the doorstep of the Peak District National Park, which would have put our valuable landscapes, wildlife and farming livelihoods at risk.

“I share the public’s frustration that the organisers did not consider the impacts of sky lanterns before planning this event so close to the UK’s first National Park, and not least in light of recent wild fire incidents.

“Our view remains that the use of sky lanterns should be formally recognised as littering, and therefore subject to the same laws.

“I would like to thank the public, Ruth George MP for High Peak and Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service for joining us in support of stopping this completely avoidable risk to our National Park.”

3 July 2018 - Original post

Event to be held at Dale Head Road, Buxton

The event involves the construction and release of an unspecified number of ‘sky lanterns’ also known as Chinese Lanterns. The lanterns consist of a bamboo frame, paper-based balloon and a short-term fuel source. The lanterns are released into the sky whilst alight.

The event location, just outside Buxton, is close to the Peak District National Park boundary, which surrounds the town.

“We would like to see the Lights Festival stopped. As a National Park, we do not support the release of sky lanterns due to the potential impacts on wildlife and livestock, however our primary concern is now the risk of fire that is increased with the release of thousands of lanterns so close to the Peak District National Park boundary.

“Although the lanterns are claimed to be biodegradable and with a short burn period, there is no further detail provided on this, and by their very nature, the travel and final location of lanterns remains indiscriminate.

“To release thousands of naked flames into the sky when hundreds of firefighters and others are still battling flames in already tough conditions on the ground seems to go against all common sense.

“Holding an event like this when we are actively asking people to take extra care to avoid fires, not to light barbeques and other precautions, seems to be a completely unnecessary risk.

“In the current extremely dry conditions, it is likely that the remains of lanterns will still be present in the landscape for some time, during a key period where the wildlife breeding season reaches its close and livestock remain in open fields.

“This is an avoidable event that could lead to significant impacts on the wildlife, landscapes and livelihoods of the Peak District National Park.”

For more information on the potential impacts of sky lanterns view our sky lanterns FAQs.

This is an archived press release

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