The spotlight is on the environment in Ledbury, with the formation of an Extinction Rebellion group in the town and the town council unanimously declaring a climate emergency.

But should that spotlight be turned off, to save energy, together with all the street lamps?

That is one suggestion from David Maddison, of Extinction Rebellion Ledbury, who addressed Ledbury Town Council last week, asked the councillors to declare a climate emergency and explained that street lamps not only waste energy but also hinder the nocturnal pollination of plants by insects, such as moths.

As the councillors arrived for their meeting, they were greeted by a placard-waving contingent of Extinction Rebellion Ledbury, including a number of climate-concerned youngsters.

Speaking to the Reporter afterwards, Mr Maddison said: "Street lights are something that need to be looked at. I'm taking about all lighting. It's wasteful and takes a lot of energy to keep the lights on."

He pointed out that some counties benefit from dark skies tourism, and Herefordshire could too.

The Highways Authority, Herefordshire Council, declined to comment on the idea, until it had heard the position of Ledbury Town Council.

Ledbury's mayor, Cllr Phillip Howells, speaking after the meeting, said the idea of turning off the street lights was "probably going too far".

He pointed out at that LED street lights are being installed throughout the county, with many already in place, and he added: "I think LED lights are much less bright, are more energy efficient and are a better compromise than no lights at all. On the evidence, turning off the lights would probably be a step too far."

Concerning possible security issues, he added: "We have a lot of elderly, vulnerable people in Ledbury."

But Cllr Howells, and other councillors, were very much in favour of declaring a climate emergency. When this did happen at the meeting, he said: "This is actually really brilliant and it's about time. There is a lot we can do practically, locally."

A working party will discuss the way to go, reporting to the town's Economic Development and Planning Committee.

The Town Council is also looking at a Friends of the Earth document, called "Twenty actions parish and town councils can take on the climate and nature emergency".

Ideas include supporting planning applications involving renewable energy; encouraging bulk purchases for solar and other renewable technologies; promoting lift sharing schemes; increasing tree cover; encouraging green transport and minimising waste going to landfill or incineration.