Balloon race cancelled after environmental concerns raised

Dorset Echo: Environmental campaigner Steve Trewhella with balloons he has picked up from Dorset beaches over the years Environmental campaigner Steve Trewhella with balloons he has picked up from Dorset beaches over the years

A CHARITY balloon race planned for Weymouth has been cancelled following environmental concerns.

Weymouth Lifeboat fundraisers had been planning the sponsored balloon release for May 5 in a bid to raise funds. But environmental campaigners slammed the event saying it could harm marine wildlife and litter the sea.

The RNLI said they themselves were not organising the event and took environmental concerns seriously. They added they were working with the event organisers to find the ‘best way forward.’ It has now been announced the event has been cancelled.

Environmental campaigner and professional marine wildlife photographer Steve Trewhella raised concerns that the event would be ‘legalised littering’ and could pose a risk to marine wildlife.

He said he was pleased the event had been called off, but said he would like to see a blanket ban on balloon and Chinese lantern releases.

He said: “It’s legalised littering and it shouldn’t be allowed under any circumstances.”

The RNLI did a great job, Mr Trewhella said, but there were other ways to raise funds.

He added: “I’m very pleased about it. At the end of the day its loads of balloons that won’t end up in the sea off Dorset.

“It’s a positive thing.”

Event organiser Tony Beeson said they were disappointed the event had been cancelled but they understood the concerns people had.

He added they would now be looking at other ideas for future fundraising events.

A spokesman for the RNLI said they took the concerns raised very seriously and had decided to call off the event.

He said: “After listening to the concerns raised by our supporters and members of the public, the RNLI has decided to cancel the balloon race fundraising event planned in Weymouth on May 5. “We would like to reassure everyone that we take environmental issues seriously and, while we’re always looking for ways to raise money to save lives at sea, we don’t want to do this in a way that harms our environment.

“Our fundraisers in Weymouth will now look at other ideas to raise money for our lifesaving charity.”

Comments (17)

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5:19pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Dave Aitch says...

Perhaps Mr Trewhella may like to ask all the active volcanoes to cancel their ash clouds, too.
Perhaps Mr Trewhella may like to ask all the active volcanoes to cancel their ash clouds, too. Dave Aitch
  • Score: -42

8:56pm Tue 22 Apr 14

I'mavoter says...

Mmm yes, and stop yachts and ships from chucking rubbish over the side, and discharging chemical waste and oil into the sea, and stop barbecues on the beach, where people leave litter and beer cans, and smashed bottles.
Come on Mr Trewhella, don't stop now you've started, complete your mission.
Mmm yes, and stop yachts and ships from chucking rubbish over the side, and discharging chemical waste and oil into the sea, and stop barbecues on the beach, where people leave litter and beer cans, and smashed bottles. Come on Mr Trewhella, don't stop now you've started, complete your mission. I'mavoter
  • Score: -11

9:11pm Tue 22 Apr 14

prazgod says...

I bet Mr Trewhella drives a car (pollutant) and shops at ASDA (Bags/Trollys/Noise pollution) ...
I bet Mr Trewhella drives a car (pollutant) and shops at ASDA (Bags/Trollys/Noise pollution) ... prazgod
  • Score: -25

10:17pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Buddybea says...

To hear these comments are laughable! Just because someone cares enough to do things to help our wildlife rather than mock just amazes me. I think it's amazing and a start for things to come. And no I dont litter, leave beer cans on the beach or shop at awful asda oh and my car is a green economical one!
To hear these comments are laughable! Just because someone cares enough to do things to help our wildlife rather than mock just amazes me. I think it's amazing and a start for things to come. And no I dont litter, leave beer cans on the beach or shop at awful asda oh and my car is a green economical one! Buddybea
  • Score: 32

10:43pm Tue 22 Apr 14

strummerball says...

I'mavoter wrote:
Mmm yes, and stop yachts and ships from chucking rubbish over the side, and discharging chemical waste and oil into the sea, and stop barbecues on the beach, where people leave litter and beer cans, and smashed bottles.
Come on Mr Trewhella, don't stop now you've started, complete your mission.
Mr. Trewhella actually spends a hell of a lot of his own time on Dorsets beaches cleaning up rubbish that has been carelessly discarded and also helps injured sea birds and other creatures that have been wounded as a direct result of mans carelessness. Maybe do a bit of research into the person , I'm sure you will find it is already his mission and a **** fine job he is doing too!
[quote][p][bold]I'mavoter[/bold] wrote: Mmm yes, and stop yachts and ships from chucking rubbish over the side, and discharging chemical waste and oil into the sea, and stop barbecues on the beach, where people leave litter and beer cans, and smashed bottles. Come on Mr Trewhella, don't stop now you've started, complete your mission.[/p][/quote]Mr. Trewhella actually spends a hell of a lot of his own time on Dorsets beaches cleaning up rubbish that has been carelessly discarded and also helps injured sea birds and other creatures that have been wounded as a direct result of mans carelessness. Maybe do a bit of research into the person , I'm sure you will find it is already his mission and a **** fine job he is doing too! strummerball
  • Score: 37

11:53pm Tue 22 Apr 14

MrTomSmith says...

Sorry but this report is RUBBISH (no pun) The person to highlight the potential problem was Chris Skone-Roberts on Twitter, all that our hero in the article did was RETWEET Chris!! Dear me come Echo GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT shockingly bad, it really is.

https://twitter.com/
lazyblueskies Refers.
Sorry but this report is RUBBISH (no pun) The person to highlight the potential problem was Chris Skone-Roberts on Twitter, all that our hero in the article did was RETWEET Chris!! Dear me come Echo GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT shockingly bad, it really is. https://twitter.com/ lazyblueskies Refers. MrTomSmith
  • Score: -8

7:56am Wed 23 Apr 14

Seahorse Steve 1 says...

Chris is a good mate of mine, but that's not quite how it happened , I spoke to RNLI on Thursday about my concerns , I then contacted the Echo to raise those concerns , an email was then sent to my contacts requesting they email and use social media asking for this event not to take place , it would be nice to think rather than spending my Easter weekend going through data about the breakdown of balloons in the marine environment and trying to stop anymore more going into our seas , that all I needed to do was ' retweet ' , so I'm afraid it is yourself that needs to get the ' facts right '
Chris is a good mate of mine, but that's not quite how it happened , I spoke to RNLI on Thursday about my concerns , I then contacted the Echo to raise those concerns , an email was then sent to my contacts requesting they email and use social media asking for this event not to take place , it would be nice to think rather than spending my Easter weekend going through data about the breakdown of balloons in the marine environment and trying to stop anymore more going into our seas , that all I needed to do was ' retweet ' , so I'm afraid it is yourself that needs to get the ' facts right ' Seahorse Steve 1
  • Score: 16

9:22am Wed 23 Apr 14

jjlad2 says...

Mmmmm, no mention from RNLI that they will be holding some form of other event to all those that bought tickets? i am a great supporter of the RNLI but i do wish that these charities do some homework before going out and organising events that are contraversal, its not as if ballons and laterns have not been highlighted before.
Maybe the Echo could run a competition for ticket holders as they have instigated the failure of this event to take place in one form or another.
Mmmmm, no mention from RNLI that they will be holding some form of other event to all those that bought tickets? i am a great supporter of the RNLI but i do wish that these charities do some homework before going out and organising events that are contraversal, its not as if ballons and laterns have not been highlighted before. Maybe the Echo could run a competition for ticket holders as they have instigated the failure of this event to take place in one form or another. jjlad2
  • Score: 1

5:21pm Wed 23 Apr 14

koocnaed says...

prazgod wrote:
I bet Mr Trewhella drives a car (pollutant) and shops at ASDA (Bags/Trollys/Noise pollution) ...
He drives a Land Rover Defender 110 station wagon, was obviously thinking on the environment when he bought that!!
[quote][p][bold]prazgod[/bold] wrote: I bet Mr Trewhella drives a car (pollutant) and shops at ASDA (Bags/Trollys/Noise pollution) ...[/p][/quote]He drives a Land Rover Defender 110 station wagon, was obviously thinking on the environment when he bought that!! koocnaed
  • Score: 1

6:04pm Wed 23 Apr 14

visionary2 says...

Farmers are finding similar problems with animals eating balloons and lanterns which have landed in their fields. There are also cases of lanterns causing fire damage ( a recent major fire was caused by a lantern and it was caught on CCTV). It's not about spoiling someone's fun it's about stopping unnecessary and dangerous litter.
Farmers are finding similar problems with animals eating balloons and lanterns which have landed in their fields. There are also cases of lanterns causing fire damage ( a recent major fire was caused by a lantern and it was caught on CCTV). It's not about spoiling someone's fun it's about stopping unnecessary and dangerous litter. visionary2
  • Score: 11

6:26pm Wed 23 Apr 14

weycoast says...

" with balloons he has picked up over the years". How many years to collect that handful?
" with balloons he has picked up over the years". How many years to collect that handful? weycoast
  • Score: -1

9:30pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Zilch UK says...

Our commendation to Tony Beeson and the RNLI for responding to the concerns raised and recognising the damage done to the environment by balloon releases and the threat they pose to wildlife.

Thankfully they join a growing list of charities who realise that there are many more responsible ways to raise their profile and money.

Regrettably, the press find balloon releases to be photogenic and appealing events and consequently give them considerable coverage without ever mentioning the damage they do. This coverage makes balloon and lantern releases appear to be acceptable and consequently promotes their increasingly widespread adoption.

Though releasing litter into the air is not yet illegal throughout the UK there are more than 20 local authorities that have banned them.

Additionally, if the press didn't report them their appeal would be significantly diminished and hasten the end to this unnecessary and destructive practice.
Our commendation to Tony Beeson and the RNLI for responding to the concerns raised and recognising the damage done to the environment by balloon releases and the threat they pose to wildlife. Thankfully they join a growing list of charities who realise that there are many more responsible ways to raise their profile and money. Regrettably, the press find balloon releases to be photogenic and appealing events and consequently give them considerable coverage without ever mentioning the damage they do. This coverage makes balloon and lantern releases appear to be acceptable and consequently promotes their increasingly widespread adoption. Though releasing litter into the air is not yet illegal throughout the UK there are more than 20 local authorities that have banned them. Additionally, if the press didn't report them their appeal would be significantly diminished and hasten the end to this unnecessary and destructive practice. Zilch UK
  • Score: 6

9:34pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Seahorse Steve 1 says...

He drives a Landrover !!! da da da !!! shock horror !!!, he shops at a supermarket !! , he lives in a house and uses electricity !! , sorry if people think that just because I wanted to stop 1500 rubber balloons ending up in the sea , that I clearly live in cave and wear hand knitted sandles , better to do something to take the pressure off our marine wildlife , than sit thumping a keyboard making ridiculous comments ?
He drives a Landrover !!! da da da !!! shock horror !!!, he shops at a supermarket !! , he lives in a house and uses electricity !! , sorry if people think that just because I wanted to stop 1500 rubber balloons ending up in the sea , that I clearly live in cave and wear hand knitted sandles , better to do something to take the pressure off our marine wildlife , than sit thumping a keyboard making ridiculous comments ? Seahorse Steve 1
  • Score: 16

11:04pm Thu 24 Apr 14

CoolRoxy says...

I'mavoter wrote:
Mmm yes, and stop yachts and ships from chucking rubbish over the side, and discharging chemical waste and oil into the sea, and stop barbecues on the beach, where people leave litter and beer cans, and smashed bottles.
Come on Mr Trewhella, don't stop now you've started, complete your mission.
Mr Trewhella doesn't stop, ever! He is an active campaigner against litter on beaches and in the sea, and takes part in and organises beach cleans to pick up all the rubbish that gets left.

Do you do that Mr Voter, or do you just chuck the stuff?
[quote][p][bold]I'mavoter[/bold] wrote: Mmm yes, and stop yachts and ships from chucking rubbish over the side, and discharging chemical waste and oil into the sea, and stop barbecues on the beach, where people leave litter and beer cans, and smashed bottles. Come on Mr Trewhella, don't stop now you've started, complete your mission.[/p][/quote]Mr Trewhella doesn't stop, ever! He is an active campaigner against litter on beaches and in the sea, and takes part in and organises beach cleans to pick up all the rubbish that gets left. Do you do that Mr Voter, or do you just chuck the stuff? CoolRoxy
  • Score: 1

2:10pm Fri 25 Apr 14

JamesYoung says...

Anybody who thinks that this is a non issue should really google "great pacific garbage patch".
Unfortunately with the current obsession with global warming, the things that are really likely to destroy the eco system are being ignored. On that basis, i'm all in favour of this move.
Anybody who thinks that this is a non issue should really google "great pacific garbage patch". Unfortunately with the current obsession with global warming, the things that are really likely to destroy the eco system are being ignored. On that basis, i'm all in favour of this move. JamesYoung
  • Score: 5

12:23pm Sun 27 Apr 14

maximan says...

" balloons he has picked up from Dorset beaches over the years"....Wow, what a really interesting thing to collect....
" balloons he has picked up from Dorset beaches over the years"....Wow, what a really interesting thing to collect.... maximan
  • Score: -4

7:15am Wed 30 Apr 14

Seahorse Steve 1 says...

Wow, what a really interesting comment to make
Wow, what a really interesting comment to make Seahorse Steve 1
  • Score: 1

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