Posted: Tue 16th May 2023

Clwydian Range & Dee Valley spearheading national Dark Skies project.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 16th, 2023

The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are stepping up to manage the national Dark Skies project.

The initiative, encompassing all of Wales’ eight Designated Landscapes, seeks to decrease light pollution, with the hope of benefiting biodiversity, the climate, and public health.

This project unifies the efforts of Eryri, Bannau Brycheiniog, Pembrokeshire Coast National Parks, and Anglesey, Llŷn, Gower and Wye Valley AONBs, all of which have been implementing local strategies to improve their dark skies.

The collaborative project, funded through the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Landscapes Sustainable Places programme, plans to fund lighting schemes and retrofitting projects across the 8 Designated Landscapes from 2022 to 2025.

Light pollution, a global issue that has increased by up to 400% in the last 25 years, significantly affects biodiversity.

The Dark Skies project aims to restore a natural nightscape, reducing the harm caused to insects and various terrestrial and marine species.

It’s expected that returning darkness to these areas will strengthen ecosystem resilience and promote the recovery of biodiversity, particularly by improving nocturnal corridors.

Cllr Win-Mullen James, Denbighshire Cabinet Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, underscored the benefits of the project, stating, “The dark skies project will work to reduce light pollution in key areas and will provide opportunities to connect people and communities to night skies and nocturnal biodiversity – and will promote the positive impacts of nature connectedness on our mental and physical wellbeing.”

In addition to the biodiversity benefits, the Dark Skies lighting is low energy and low carbon, leading to reduced carbon emissions and overall energy consumption within each designated area.

Ridge and Partners LLP, a lighting design specialist company, has been procured to deliver light retrofitting projects in all eight areas.

They will conduct baseline light pollution surveys and identify areas for significant improvements.

Andrew Bissell, Partner at Ridge and Partners, expressed enthusiasm for the project, saying, “We are excited to be working on the pan Wales Dark Skies project covering all eight designated landscapes of Wales, the ambition of the project is inspirational, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact of the changes”.

The comprehensive project is set to usher in a new era of eco-conscious, sustainable land management, with Wales leading the way.

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