Loggerheads gets award for night sky protection
A project to turn a beauty spot into a dark sky friendly zone has won an award.
External lighting at Loggerheads Country Part in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) has been changed to improve the quality of the night skies in the area.
The work won the Good Lighting Award from the Commission for Dark Skies, an organisation which aims to protect the quality of our night skies.
The LED lights, which operate on a motion sensor, are fully shielded so there is no upward spill and light is directed only to where it is needed.
Designed in house by Denbighshire’s Lighting Engineer Graham Mitchell the LED lights are more efficient than traditional lights and the colour temperature is a softer yellower light.
The work at Loggerheads shows that protecting our night skies doesn’t mean turning our lights off – it means having the correct amount of light carefully directed to the places we need it, at the times we need it. Poor lighting, especially the harsh blue/white light often associated with LEDs, has been shown to have a catastrophic impact on biodiversity by disrupting insect patterns of behaviour which has a knock on effect across the ecosystem while light pollution has also been shown to have a negative impact on our own physical and mental health. Poor lighting has such a negative impact on our biodiversity and our own quality of life and yet it is relatively easy to get right.
The project has also shown that while traditional security lighting can create glare and shadows, a reduced amount of light, correctly directed can be much more effective – and better for the environment.
Following a public consultation last year, the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB is in the process of applying for Dark Sky Community status with the International Dark Sky Association.
Dark Skies status would help to protect our night skies, promote good lighting design in the AONB and provide opportunities for astronomers, enthusiasts and casual observers to see the night sky in all its glory.
For more information visit https://www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk/projects/dark-skies/