Fireworks: they are playing dead

26 Apr 2024

Press release n°2

It’s almost dead calm on the front line, after Robin des Bois’ alert on the Normandy sham (1) – 95 km of coastline plunged in the fumes and rockets of some twenty synchronised fireworks displays in a supposed tribute to all the soldiers Ryan and Coleman who landed on the sand on June 6, 1944 before breaking through the jungle in the “bocage”.

In response to Robin des Bois’ first press release, the Chairman of the Landings Committee said on France 3 Basse-Normandie: “I understand the ecological argument. “In the future, it will certainly have to be taken into account.” “But the question of cancellation doesn’t arise, it’s too late.” As for the Normandy Region, whose president also received a letter from Robin des Bois calling for the cancellation of the fireworks and the synchronised blaze of the coastline, it has remained silent on the subject, both verbally and in writing.

Decibels and vibrations loud enough to topple the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a crowd of admirers trampling the plants and shrubs that fight against marine erosion, an army of intrusive cars and motorhomes, waste bags packed to bursting point, full temporary urinals, food trucks everywhere, a vomit of rubbish on the coastal strip and quays and improvised barbecues. It’s a far cry from remembrance and the desire for peace. Instead of all this noise and mayhem, there should be hours of silence and hope.

Fireworks are totally unpredictable for the wildlife of the sand dunes, cliffs and hedgerows. They are nothing like thunderstorms, of which they have an intimate pre-knowledge. Pyrotechnic thunders with their triple effect — noise, light, smoke — are, for the adult birds that in May and June fully assume their responsibilities as parents and educators of future generations, lightning apocalypses causing panic, flight, sometimes with no return, and even collisions and falls of chicks.

Rural communities and local authorities have long known that birds and other wildlife are frightened off by unexpected noise. The common use of crow deterrents, bird bangers and other acoustic scarecrows bears witness to this. The organisers of these free shows will therefore knowingly frighten away wildlife, particularly birds, in 37 terrestrial and marine Natural Areas of Ecological, Faunistic and Floristic Interest, as well as in 10 Natura 2000 areas.

After the night of terror and a forced feeding of fine particles to the lungs of birds and marine and terrestrial mammals, the beaches and the Bay of Seine will be the repositories of further pollution. Worldwide literature shows that the various residues from fireworks mortars discharge millions of persistent and polluting micro and macro-wastes, plastics, foam, fibreglass and chemical dye residues into aquatic environments.

Fireworks are also dangerous for health of human populations. They release instant air pollution and fumes that are toxic for everyone.  Asthmatics, people with heart diseases, children, pregnant women and women of childbearing age are on the front line.

In addition to the damages to animal and plant biodiversity, fireworks are a potential source of fire outbreaks.

On April 16, Robin des Bois wrote to the Chairman of the “Liberation Mission” to call once again for the cancellation of this fireworks festival (2). It reiterates its request in this press release.

Robin des Bois is the only NGO in Europe to regard the search for unexploded ordnance from the wars of 14-18, 39-45 and even 1870 as a major issue for the protection of people and the environment. Robin des Bois’ works on this subject are now considered as a reference. The latest France-Germany inventory is available here (only in French) and the latest inventory covering the Atlantic and Channel regions is available here (only in French).


(1) Panic in the nests of Normandy, March 13, 2024
(2) Letter from Robin des Bois to the Chairman of the “Liberation Mission” dated April 16, 2024




Imprimer cet article Imprimer cet article