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Last Updated: Monday, 11 October, 2004, 09:20 GMT 10:20 UK
Village street lights win award
Traditional lamppost in Hinton St George
The traditional lamppost does not cast a glare into the night sky
A Somerset village which raised 24,000 to install environmentally-friendly street-lighting has won a US award.

The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) praised residents in Hinton St George for their traditional lampposts.

The lights point downwards, reducing the orange glare often seen over towns and cities.

The IDA campaigns against light pollution from street illuminations, which obscure the night sky and affect "star-gazing".

Awards were also given to the company which installed the lampposts, Sugg Lighting, and to Joy Griffiths, a member of the British Astronomical Association's Campaign for Dark Skies, who nominated the village.

'In keeping'

Mrs Griffiths, who lives in Chard in Somerset, said: "My nomination recognises the extremely commendable decision on the part of the nominees to raise the money themselves for the lights they wanted.

"They are in keeping with the ancient hamstone buildings and restore the view of the night sky.

"The new lighting replaces hideous county council standard lamps which spread light in all directions.

"They hid the stars, the night sky, that used to be seen before they were installed in about 1967."

She said although Somerset County Council was very keen to install environmentally-friendly street lighting, it was constrained by lack of funding.

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