Balloon and sky lantern releases have been banned from all land owned by Shropshire Council.

Councillors unanimously voted in support of the move at a meeting of the full council, after motion was tabled by Cleobury Mortimer councillor Simon Harris.

The authority will also lobby the government to have the practice made illegal, and run a media campaign to discourage people from releasing balloons and lanterns anywhere within the county.

Councillor Harris said the measure would help “improve the environment that we live in”, as well as protecting wildlife.

The new policy comes in response to the Marine Conservation Society’s ‘Don’t Let Go’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the harmful effects of releasing both balloons and sky lanterns into the environment, with the end goal of having the practice outlawed.

The council voted to ban lantern releases banned in 2018, but Councillor Harris pointed out that this was currently not reflected on the society’s website, which lists all councils which have implemented such bans.

Councillor Harris said: “For many years the Marine Conservation Society has run a campaign to make sky lantern and balloon releases illegal by classifying this activity as ‘littering’. The society has not been successful.

“The society has also encouraged local authorities to ban these activities from property that the authorities own.

“This approach, while not dealing with the problem per se, has had some success.

“Shropshire’s neighbouring council of Worcestershire has banned both sky lantern and balloon releases, while Hereford has banned sky lantern releases.”

The motion was seconded by Burnell councillor Dan Morris, who put forward the initial lantern ban motion back in 2018, and received the full support of members.