SKY lanterns and balloons have been banned from land belonging to West Oxfordshire District Council.

Having reviewed a range of evidence showing the potential harmful effects of lanterns and balloons to wildlife and livestock, cabinet members backed the move on Wednesday.

Toby Morris, deputy leader of the council, said: “There is growing evidence of the dangers to wildlife and the environment presented by the use of these apparently harmless items, the use of which has grown in recent years.

“We are sending a statement that highlights these risks and hope residents will follow our example and prevent their use.”

As well as the recommendation to stop the release of balloons and sky lanterns on land owned or controlled by the council, officers will be asked to contact town and parish councils in the district asking them to introduce the policy on their land.

Andrew Coles, who sits on the council’s environment overview and scrutiny committee, added: “I am delighted this recommendation has gone forward and look forward to the policy being enforced in the near future.”

Though councillors approved the decision on Wednesday, all decisions made by the council’s cabinet are subject to the usual 10-day call-in period and could potentially be reversed.