Friday 12 January 2024

First ‘dark sky’ community in Wales and England

First ‘dark sky’ community in Wales and England

Presteigne and Norton have become the first "Dark Sky Community" in both Wales and mainland England.

This achievement is the result of a six-year collaborative effort involving the local community, Presteigne and Norton Town Council, Powys County Council and DarkSky International.

The focus of this joint initiative was to address light pollution through the installation of energy-efficient 'dark skies' streetlights.

The intelligent lighting system allows for the reactivation of all streetlights with Dark Skies-compliant bulbs.

The project involved the refurbishment of 380 lighting columns, using 2200K LED luminaires with full cut-off beams.

Additionally, 40% of the lights are programmed to switch off, while the remaining 60% are set to half intensity after midnight.

These measures aim to reduce light intensity, energy usage and extend the lifespan of the luminaires.

The positive environmental impact includes a 4.5-tonne reduction in the area's annual carbon dioxide emissions.

Presteigne and Norton Dark Skies Community Leader Leigh-Harling Bowen said: "The community has worked tenaciously to highlight the benefits of becoming a dark sky community, including an investment in the use of efficient, low energy 'dark skies' streetlights that have reduced our impact on the environment.

"This has resulted in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, along with a beneficial effect on wildlife, especially night flying insects, birds and bats.

"The consequential reduction in light pollution has also enabled us to see the glory of the night sky clearly, a legacy that our children and grandchildren will continue to enjoy!"

Written by

Sumit Bose

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