CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Sparklers and ‘dangerous’ lanterns banned from Primrose Hill

Police officers will be at park entrance checking bags for sparklers and Catherine wheels

05 November, 2018 — By Tom Foot

Banned: the popular fire lanterns featured in the Disney film Tangled 

POLICE will be checking bags for sparklers and “dangerous” Chinese lanterns at entrances to Primrose Hill tonight (Monday) as part of the annual bonfire night fireworks ban.

The steep hill is a popular viewing point for fireworks displays around the capital often attracting thousands of people to the summit on November 5.

But park bosses says the ad-hoc events create “a substantial amount of litter” and flame-lit lanterns can be “dangerous” and damage surrounding properties.

As a result, Primrose Hill will close at 9pm tonight and police officers will be at all the gates to “stop anyone attempting to bring in fireworks or lanterns”, according to the Royal Parks Agency. A spokeswoman confirmed sparklers were also banned.

Primrose Hill park manager Nick Biddle said: “Primrose Hill isn’t suitable for hosting a display or for people to bring their own fireworks. Also, paper lanterns can be dangerous when lit in the dense assembly of visitors causing injury, and damage to the park including surrounding properties.”

Fireworks and lanterns will have  to “surrender” lanterns  to officers “for safe disposal and may not be allowed into the park”, the  Royal Marks added.

The use of Chinese lanterns boomed after the 2010 hit film Tangled, a Disney re-working of Rapunzel which includes a scene where hundreds of lanterns are simultaneously let loose to light up the night sky.

A Royal Parks Metropolitan Police spokesperson, said: “I urge members of the public not to bring fireworks to Primrose Hill. This will allow my officers to focus their efforts on ensuring that park visitors remain safe, that the atmosphere remains good natured and that any anti-social behaviour can be dealt with swiftly.”

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