Sparklers have been banned from an upcoming Moray fireworks display after organisers warned they are an “accident waiting to happen”.
The Rotary Club of Forres, which will host the town’s annual bonfire extravaganza on November 2, has branded the hand-held explosives a “blight” on the area.
Every year the group’s colourful autumn display brings thousands of people in to Grant Park, but some of those using sparklers leave their burnt-out remains strewn across the ground.
Rotarians have likened the litter to “metal spikes in a playground”, and have warned they pose a serious safety risk to young children and animals who may be playing in the park the following morning.
The club has banned the items from next month’s display, and is asking parents to leave them at home to lower the chances of anyone being injured.
Rotarian Carlo Miele said: “The event is a great success every year and we want people to have fun, but discarded sparklers are an accident waiting to happen.
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“Once dropped on the ground, they are just metal spikes in a playground.
“Grant Park is used the day after by more than a hundred young children from Soccer Sevens, as well as people using the park to walk their dogs.
“It’s a public space, and it’s a safe place.”
As part of the Rotary Club’s campaign, it has launched a competition for local schoolchildren to design a poster highlighting the dangers of dropping sparklers on the ground.
The winner will be given £25 and get to see their artwork displayed in locations across the town.
Mr Miele added: “Our message to people is to have fun and think about the other people who use the park. Don’t bring sparklers.
“There are plenty of flashing lights and neon toys people can buy on the night.
“We’re not saying you can’t enjoy yourself, but we just don’t want to see anyone end up in hospital through carelessness.”
The Grant Park bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm, while the fireworks will begin at 7pm on Saturday, November 2.