CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

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dimelda
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CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby dimelda » Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:10 pm

Sarah Everard was not abducted on the Common.  In the wake of her tragic murder and the ensuing hysteria relating to safety and the Common, it’s time now to take a deep breath & accept that a petition to increase lighting on it was a knee-jerk reaction.    Sarah’s memory and her family’s grief has already been hijacked by the disgraceful scenes on the Common on Sat. night, 13 March.   Her murder was indubitably a dreadful crime, but those who rushed to sign the Petition should be made aware of the adverse effects of night time lighting – in general, and particularly on a Common.  It's well recorded that artificial lighting at night has a detrimental effect on wildlife, particularly birds, bats & insects, of which there are many on the Common.  Light pollution, from which we suffer badly in London, is environmentally damaging and city lights & urban wildlife do not fit together, not to mention the wasting of energy with light that shines when & where it’s not needed.  The excellent International Dark Sky Assn. website (www.darksky.org) explains everything one needs to know about Light Pollution. As for safety, the same website (www.darksky.org), on its ‘Lighting, Crime & Safety’ page, states that there is no scientific evidence that increased outdoor lighting deters crimes:  it may make us feel safer, but has not been shown to do so.  The lighting on the Common does not need to be maximised.  Even if it were, how many people would actually choose to cross the Common after dark?  Not many, I’d surmise.   To those, like me, opposed to additional lighting on the Common, you can make your feelings
known by:

  • Writing to / emailing Lambeth, whose Head of Parks is Ian Ross
Iross@lambeth.gov.uk
  • Writing to / emailing your local Councillors
www.writetothem.com
  • You could also research the excellent website of the Friends of Clapham Common (FCC) (www.claphamcommon.net), an environmental charity which runs conservation projects to improve the Common’s biodiversity, amongst other initiatives such as graffiti removal, planting of trees, shrubs, etc, & lobbying Lambeth.  The FCC works tirelessly to protect the Common and its beauty.
 In the meantime, it’s understood that the ugly, temporary lighting hastily erected by Lambeth will be there for a month.  Sadly.
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mummymaia
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby mummymaia » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:56 am

Yes, I agree with you. Knee jerk reaction, or worse. I will write.
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wineandcheese
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby wineandcheese » Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:28 am

I agree with you too.  The Common is meant to be a relatively natural space.  Thanks for sharing how we can make our feelings known. 
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faybian
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby faybian » Mon Mar 22, 2021 8:52 am

I agree, I thought this straight away when I read it. Extra lighting is damaging to wildlife, particularly birds and a waste of energy. The Common should be kept as natural as possible and the welfare of wildlife should be prioritised in this area. No one has to cross the common in the dark, probably better to keep to the well lit street at the edges at night and leave the common as it is.
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soleil1
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby soleil1 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:22 pm

I do agree with everything that has been said: damaging for wildlife, light pollution and waste of energy. Moreover, I think from a security point of view it would even be dangerous as people would think the park is safe at night which it won't be even with the whole park lit. Please spend the money in a more sensible way!
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dimelda
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby dimelda » Mon Mar 22, 2021 2:38 pm

Thanks to all for supporting my point that that the ill-thought-out petition for increased lighting on the Common was indeed a terrible idea.  The ‘Community Editor’ (aka Annabel I believe) in her original post might have described it as a wonderful ‘initiative’:  in fact, it was the reverse.   She also asserts today that she’s not sure I’ve ‘….thought it through’ !   She clearly hasn't read my post thoroughly.   But, on one point, I agree with her:  she should indeed keep her head down. It should be noted that an admirable effort was made initially to stop the Petition going ahead – sadly thwarted in the hysteria. I have had huge support from people opposed to the Petition, and a number have written to the Council urging them to disregard the petition, or indeed anyone baying for more lighting.    People should also be aware that both the Friends of Clapham Common and the Clapham Society are opposed to it. You have an excellent point, Soleil1, on security … that, even if the Common were lit up, it could be more dangerous, as people would think it safe at night.  The sound advice is not to walk across it in the dark, alone.   Those who support/ed the Petition (incl. the ‘Community Editor’) clearly know little, or nothing, or, worse, didn’t care, about wildlife (particularly at night), biodiversity, Light Pollution, wastage of energy …  yet they all disgracefully rushed to sign it.  If they did claim to know about these facts, & still signed it, they truly were unprincipled.  The golden rule is never to sign anything unless you know what you’re signing up to. 
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dudette
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby dudette » Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:44 pm

I don’t understand Annabel’s point at all in today’s email. Of course the OP has thought this through and makes a very reasonable argument.
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dimelda
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby dimelda » Mon Mar 22, 2021 10:50 pm

Thank you, Dudette, for your positive reaction to my post (Clap. Common - Additional Lighting not Needed).  Like the ill-judged Petition itself, the 'Community Editor's' comments in her today's email were equally ill-judged.
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coffeeclub
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby coffeeclub » Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:05 am

Whilst I appreciate that having lighting all over Clapham Common would be detrimental to wildlife and the environment maybe having a couple of well lit paths, which go across Clapham Common from east to west and north to south, would be a good idea.

Besides over 28,000 people have signed the petition calling for better lighting on Clapham Common, so there is clearly a feeling in the community that something should be done here.
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dimelda
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby dimelda » Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:01 pm

To:  CoffeeClubYes - 28,000 who clearly didn’t give a fig about the environment, Light Pollution, the night sky, the adverse effects on biodiversity & wildlife, wastage of energy, the fact that there’s no scientific evidence that increased lighting deters crimes.  28,000 who, in a swell of hysteria following the tragic abduction & death of a woman who was neither abducted nor killed on the Common, shamefully rushed to sign a petition without giving a thought to these matters – scientific & well-researched facts.  They signed a document on a subject about which they knew little or nothing.  It’s heartening to think however that there WERE some knowledgeable people, however, who braved the baying mob & tried to stop it going ahead.  I sense that you’re coming to the aid of the ‘Community Editor’ here, who originally puffed about the petition, then made an ill-judged comment in her email of yesterday.  Thankfully, she has said she’ll now keep her head down. Petitions can well & truly be seen through & it’s to be hoped that Lambeth, in this case, will not be deceived by mass hysteria.  If it is (deceived), it will be because of those who signed it that wildlife & biodiversity on the Common will vanish.  They can always write to Lambeth (contact details provided in my earlier post/s) & admit that what they signed up to was fallacious.     
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ForMyLittleMan
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby ForMyLittleMan » Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:38 am

The lack of lighting on the Common does not just apply to people wishing to use the Common at night. I used to walk to exercise classes on Clapham Common getting there for 6:15am and for many months of the year I was absolutely terrified having to walk in complete darkness. There were certain points where the path is right next to trees where it was really scary...I would run and arrive at class with my heart pounding. I know I wasn't alone as others talked about clutching their keys as they walked even from where they parked their car to the meeting point. Surely this isn't reasonable?
I hear the argument for the environment - perhaps there is a suitable arrangement where lighting is off for example between 10pm - 5:30am in order to help people feel safer whilst also protecting the environment.
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MummyCarolyn
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby MummyCarolyn » Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:38 pm

Perhaps this is also a knee jerk reaction. More lighting doesn’t mean lighting all over or where we need to preserve some habitats.
In winter it’s dark at 4.30 and lots of people need to walk or run around the park and on its main paths. Some paths have insufficient lighting, broken lighting in the middle of it or no lighting at all. If this was looked into properly and there was assurance that main paths were properly led all the way, that’d be a good idea in my opinion.
This needs review and this petition will hopefully trigger it.
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dimelda
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby dimelda » Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:10 am

To:  My Little Man:   You have raised a valid point but what has surprised us is that exercise classes on the Common (for which a Licence is needed by the Local Authority) are, or were, held at 06.15 in the dark months in a part of the Common which – from what you say – could only be reached by having to walk ‘in complete darkness’ across the Common.  I’m not surprised that you and others were scared.  Were the exercise class organisers not cognisant of that?  Or did they not care?   Couldn’t the classes, or meeting point, have been held closer to the perimeter of the Common? Everyone, almost without exception, agrees that the sensible thing to do is not to walk across the Common in the dark, & certainly not on one’s own.  Lighting or no lighting.  But because you have raised the point of these early morning exercise classes, we shall be referring it to the Friends (of Clapham Common) who are heavily involved in the issue of lighting. And, as someone who needs exercise myself, could you provide me please with the name/s of the persons (or the Group) running these classes. I’m heartened to read that you want to protect the environment – but artificial light significantly disrupts natural patterns of light & dark.  Birds are most active at sunrise and sunset.  Nocturnal birds, like owls, hunt in the dark hours.  The Dawn Chorus can start as early as 04.00 in the summer & last several hours, & nobody would want to interfere with this.   Hopefully, a solution can be reached.

To:  Mummy Carolyn:  'Preserve some habitats' ??  Some only?  There are habitats ALL OVER the Common.
  
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dimelda
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Re: CLAPHAM COMMON - ADDITIONAL LIGHTING NOT NEEDED

Postby dimelda » Sat May 01, 2021 8:08 pm

To Josey Paigan. Parks & night lights are an oxymoron.  Clapham Common, in particular, should most certainly not be lit up at night.  It’s a Common, not a fun fair.  As for ‘.. choosing between nocturnal birds & people’s safety’, it’s not a tough choice at all:  there’s actually no choice.  You should never walk across the Common in the dark.  It’s a no brainer.   As regards your suggestion of Lightlume (a commercial enterprise supplying outdoor lights), I would equally suggest you look at the excellent website of the International Dark-Sky Association (www.darksky.org) which provides detailed & expert information on lighting, night safety, & light pollution.   Let’s leave the dark Common to the night sky and the wildlife.    
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