The NFU is hoping the public will think twice about letting off Chinese lanterns this year.

The union is calling for an outright ban on the lanterns, which are already outlawed in parts of Germany, the whole of Vietnam and, as of last month, Spain.

Today, the Marine Conservation Society became the latest organisation to join a growing list of those worried about the dangers, including police, the fire service and coastguard.

Emma Snowden, Marine Conservation Society litter campaigns officer, said: “They are contributing to the litter issue and pose a threat to our beautiful marine wildlife, we are confident that the public would back a ban if they were fully aware of the serious damage lanterns could do.

“When we reported the recent Spanish ban on our Facebook page we were amazed at the strength of feeling out there, all of which backed a ban of both balloon and lantern releases.”