May 21, 2024

Partnership tackled light pollution at community hub

Light pollution has been lowered at Llanfwrog Community Centre through the Dark Skies project.

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are spearheading a national all-Wales Dark Skies project.

Dark Skies project staff have been working closely with Llanfwrog Community Association to replace floodlights on the tennis courts and the lights on the golf driving range.

Through funding from the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Landscapes, Sustainable Places (SLSP) fund, the AONB engaged environmental lighting designers Dark Source to outline a new lighting plan to conquer the effects of light pollution. With this plan the Club successfully attracted funding from the Clocaenog Forest Wind Farm Fund to retrofit the courts.

The SLSP fund funded the lights on the golf driving range.

Being located on the edge of Ruthin town the tennis courts and golf driving range sits close to ancient woodland and trees that are home to roosting bats. Artificial light exposes bats to predators when leaving their roosts, which causes them to abandon roosts altogether.

Artificial light can also indirectly affect these bats as they feed on flying insect, these flying insects are however drawn to the artificial light and are instantly killed upon contact with the light source, which results in a reduction of flying insect for the bats to feed on as well as other birds and other animals who feed on these insects.

Llanfwrog Community association have done everything they can to reduce light pollution at the centre and have mitigated as much as possible whilst also creating a safe environment for using the tennis courts and the golf driving range.

Cllr Win-Mullen James, Denbighshire Cabinet Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, said: “Not only has changing the light fittings had a positive effect on wildlife it has also reduced carbon emissions

“Figures have shown by replacing the old 2KW floodlight with the new 800W dark light sport floodlights, when all six courts are switched on they are saving 31.2KW/h which is a saving of 61.9 percent in electricity and carbon emissions which is very positive for the environment and the cost of running the centre.”

“I would like to add my congratulations to Llanfwrog council for the work they have done in obtaining grants to achieve this outcome.”

Ruthin Rugby club are also in conversation to change the lighting on the rugby pitch to be more energy efficient and also to comply with Dark skies. By the winter all works should be done and all three clubs should have energy efficient lighting that also comply to dark skies.