Event Health and Safety

Can I release sky lanterns or fireworks as part of my event?

Sky Lanterns

The Council and National Park has introduced a voluntary ban on the release of sky lanterns and helium balloons from council/National Park owned or controlled land due to impact on livestock, plants and the environment.

Concerns include risks to animal welfare through ingestion of debris left by them in the countryside, the sea and on the coastline. As sky lanterns contain a naked flame, there were additional concerns about the fire risk to buildings, property, crops and moorland from uncontrolled landings.

The Council also discourage their use and release from other land wherever possible.


Firework displays should be enjoyable and spectacular occasions – but they obviously need some responsible planning. For detailed guidance on arranging a display: Health and Safety Executive 

If you are organising a major public event, you will clearly need a robust and detailed approach to planning as well as professional involvement. If you are holding a local firework display, such as those organised by many sports clubs, schools or parish councils, you still need to plan responsibly, but the same level of detail is not necessary or expected. Below are some tips and guidance to help you.

  • Think about who will operate the display. There is no reason why you should not light a display yourselves provided it only contains fireworks in categories 1, 2 and 3 but remember, category 4 fireworks may only be used by professional firework display operators. In untrained hands they can be lethal.
  • Consider whether the site is suitable and large enough for your display. Is there space for the fireworks to land well away from spectators? Remember to check in daylight for overhead power lines and other obstructions. What is the direction of the prevailing wind? What would happen if it changed?
  • Think about what you would do if things go wrong. Make sure there is someone who will be responsible for calling the emergency services
  • Make sure you obtain the fireworks from a reputable registered or licensed supplier.
  • Ensure you have a suitable place to store the fireworks. Your firework supplier should be able to advise.
  • The morning after the display, carefully check and clear the site. Dispose of fireworks safely. They should never be burnt in a confined space.

You must not set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except for:

  •  Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight
  •  New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am.
ID: 4897, revised 08/03/2023