The Friends of The Lake District have helped to install five Dark Skies and wildlife friendly road lights in Lorton despite some concern.

The village had previously had sodium light bulbs installed since the 1980s which were causing maintenance issues and casting light on the night sky.

The group have worked in partnership with Lorton Parish Council and the Dark Skies Cumbria Project to carry out community surveys to see if people would prefer LED, Dark Skies friendly lights.

Whilst half of respondents were happy to have some of the lights turned off completely, a fifth still wanted lighting retained for safely walking around as there are few footways in the village.

Steve Irlam, Lorton Parish Councillor, helping with the lighting changes, said: "Working with Jack Ellerby the Dark Skies Project Officer and Allerdale Borough Council, we’ve picked the core area of the village near the school, shop and village hall to try the new improved lights. Before the nights draw out we’d welcome feedback from residents before we look to replace any more of the lights we think are still needed.

"We will have to be pragmatic with local authority budgets being very tight. Some of the lights won’t be able to be replaced, including those connected to Electricity North West Ltd timber poles where their risk assessments do not now permit other equipment being attached."

A company called Thorn Lighting will be producing the lights for the pilot scheme the lights will dim by 50% at 9pm and fully by 12am, ready to come back on again at 6am.

Dark Skies Cumbria Project Officer Jack Ellerby, said: "Changing road lighting can arouse strong, differing views so it’s really important in my role to listen and work with each individual community. The good thing is with LED technologies developing so rapidly, and manufacture’s now taking on board Dark Skies and wildlife friendly requirements, there’s usually a solution for each situation to accommodate a balance of residents views.

I’ve really enjoyed working with Lorton Parish Council and the wider Melbreak communities as we all want to make the local environment a better place."