SOUTH Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed a new code of practice over the use of sky lanterns - but said ministers should look at bringing in legislation if the guidelines fail to protect property and livestock.

The code was drawn up to ensure sky lanterns are manufactured to be biodegradable and that they are sold responsibly.

It follows discussions between Government and the industry over concerns that the lanterns could cause barn fires and are dangerous to livestock.

They have also accidentally alerted coastal rescue services, littered land and sea, injure and could be a risk to aviation.

The new industry code of practice aims to provide guidance for manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers. The code will help market surveillance authorities recognise the necessary safety checks, the type of warnings and instructions that need to accompany the product, and help ensure the responsible sale and safe use of sky lanterns.

Mr Farron said: “This new code of conduct is very welcome news. Working with the NFU, government and retailers we have been able to get everyone round the table to come up with a code. I hope that moving forward it will make a difference, but I have said to ministers that if it does not work we must look at every avenue including legislation.

"I have long said while these lanterns are great to look at and can be enjoyed on many different occasions, it is important that we do not allow poor quality lanterns to destroy our countryside and injure livestock. I hope that this code will help us to end the awful scenes some farmers have had to deal with in recent years.

The code of practice can be found here: