Worries grow over lantern festival coming to Buxton

Concerns have been raised over a lantern festival coming to Buxton in the summer
Concerns have been raised over a lantern festival coming to Buxton in the summer

Concerns have been raised about a Chinese-style lantern festival taking place in Buxton after a huge moorland fire earlier this month.

The Light Fest is coming to Dale Head, Buxton on Saturday, July 28 and will see people releasing thousands of flame-lit lanterns into the night’s sky but people are worried about the risk of starting another fire.

Eleanore Kaitlin Hill-Bruce said: “Quite a lot of people in the farming and countryside world are very worried about it considering the fire the other week on the tops.”

On Sunday, May 6 firefighters from Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire battled a blaze which wiped out six football pitches of moorland near Derbyshire Bridge in the Errwood Reservoir Area of Goyt Valley.

However Light Fest, which organise lantern events around the globe say it has a ‘perfect safety record’.

A spokesman for the company said: “The rice-paper body of the lantern is fire-resistant to prevent the flame from travelling.

“We have designed the fuel source in such a way that the flame is completely out before the lanterns descend and land.

“Regardless, we always have a fire crew waiting in the landing zone as a precaution.”

Lights Fest aims is to bring friends and families together for live music, food and when the moment is right the sky lanterns with Tiki torches are lit creating ‘a surreal ambiance, where time slows down and your single flame rises and joins with thousands of others to light up your life’.

To ensure the event is a safe one Lights Fest do not allow anyone under 16 to light their own lanterns.

“We strive to educate others on the differences between our lanterns and generic ones available online,” said the company spokesman.

“We want to do our part in making sure no harm comes to our beautiful planet or it’s inhabitants. We know lantern releases can be a very healing experience for people, and we are proud to provide a way for you to do it safely and responsibly.”

All the lanterns are designed to only stay in the air for a short period of time unlike other lanterns which can climb to altitudes of one mile. There will also be a clean-up crew who will go round and pick up the lanterns from the around the site when they land.

The RSPCA and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue were contacted regarding the festival.

Rachel Butler, Regional Media Manager for the RSPCA said: “Sky lanterns can harm wildlife, livestock and other animals by causing injuries that lead to suffering and a slow painful death through ingestion, entanglement and entrapment. When ingested, the sharp parts of a lantern can tear and puncture an animal’s throat or stomach, causing internal bleeding.

“They might look pretty in the sky but they pose a serious danger to wildlife. Sadly, many people are unaware of the potentially deadly consequences the release of sky lanterns can have for animals.

“Most people would think twice about sky lanterns if they saw the kind of injuries they cause.”

• For tickets thelightsfest.com