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Cousins working together on our family owned farm with the aim of running a commercial modern farm producing high yielding, high standard crops while maximising wildlife diversity. Brian is said to be the farmer and conservationist, whereas Patrick is a conservationist and farmer. This mix has given a new direction for the farm, building upon the work that our fathers and grandfather has done to improve the overall success of the farm business. The farm has gone from strength to strength with the farm being recognised at a national level winning the coveted National FWAG’s Silver Lapwing Award for farming and conservation in 2009 and then Patrick and Brian were named Countryside Farmer of the Year by the Farmers Weekly in 2010.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Chinese Lanterns should be £61.50 each!!

We see them in the dark night sky,
 A small orange speck as they fly,
They disappears with ore and grace,
Until they extinguish out of sight,
With no care from who held the lighter,
So what happened to them once the fuel runs dry?
They slowly descend as the hot air dies,
Some fall fast,
Others slow,
They come to ground,
On tree tops n crops,
When they land their intensely hot,
And if they touch our cinder crops,
The farmer fears a burning fire,
So please consider our fabulous farmland,
Before you light a floating fire!

Chinese lanterns are in the press a lot at the moment for one think or another. Fires have been started, many fingers pointed and wagged at the few who don’t understand the dangers they bring. They are very unique and do create a stunning scene but I don’t understand how they can be sold so cheap and how they can be allowed to be released at the driest time of year.

So many take pride in the appearance of Suffolk and our countryside this has been shown by the good work of the ‘Don’t be a Tosser’ campaign run by BBC Radio Suffolk and other organisations, making everyone aware of the importance to put litter in the bins provided and act responsibly. If you are caught fly tipping you can be taken to court and fined heavily, if you are seen littering you receive a £60 on the spot fine! So why aren’t we pushing for the sale of these Chinese lanterns for £61.50 which includes the on the spot littering fine. They would soon become out of fashion if that was the case!

We have found the remains of lanterns in our fields, in our grass, trees and hedges. Normally if you find one, there will be 5 or 6 close by. These wire and plastic circles with their burnt fuel cell and balloon top can cause danger to crops, animals and humans. They are simple in design but also simple in the speed they can fail! The fuel cells can fall or balloon puncture which causes the hot fuel cell to fall onto anything bellow. The end resting place can be anywhere combustible or not, the problems occur during dry periods when they can fall on thatched houses, cinder dry crops, straw stacks, heather moors etc. they also cause potential problems in animal feed such as silage as they get cut up and mixed in with silage. Then the small wire or plastic bits are fed by accident to the livestock that swallow them and then cause the animal discomfort and to possibly die slowly.

So please if you are planning on releasing one, two or a hundred just bare a thought of where they might end up and what damage a very simple unnecessary spectacle could cause. BWB (My proof reader has been away on holiday so i'm sorry for the grammer and spelling!)   

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