The Elan Valley became the first privately owned landscape to become part of the Dark Skies initiative. The area was well served as a natural area that could look up to a sky not too badly affected by light pollution. To make it even better our village lighting was changed. The old sulfurous lighting was removed and we were provided with downward pointing lights that only provided a little pool of light below the lamps. Walking in the dark in the village became a thing of moving from one pool of light to another, able to see obstructions silhouetted against the next light.
Last week a cherry picker arrived and engineers did some work on the poles. This is not unusual we frequently have Open Reach engineers and the Council workers checking and changing things and we didn’t really get too excited about it, apart from Maggie recalling the period, last year, when the pole nearest to Ty Olaf was replaced, but it then took the best part of a month to get the lamp replaced. This time we could not see any major change until we started to go to bed. The area in front of the house was bathed in powerful light, streaming along the front hedge and lighting the sheep, settled in for their night’s sleep. The light from “our” pole joining with that from other poles to produce a well lit street scene. We went up to our bedroom and, with our lights off opened the blind on the window looking east. It was amazing, the new lamp was alive with moths and insects dancing below it, while at least two types of bat swooped and looped through the larches and out into the darkness of the field. It was incredible!
But, in spite of the hugely improved lighting under and between the lamps there is still minimal light pollution upwards and through our garden or into the woods. An amazing development, we will be writing to Powys County Council to congratulate them on an excellent development.