I was very interested to read the Dark Sky Town article in the March 11 edition of the Courant.

Several years ago after retiring, I looked in the Hexham area in search of reasonably dark skies to enjoy my hobby of astronomy.

And I was fortunate in locating a house on the racecourse road.

On a clear autumn night looking over Hexhamshire, I have a good view of the beautiful Milky Way, although I am only a mile from the town centre.

But I am also 140 metres (460 ft) above it.

This helps to lift me out of the worst of the light pollution dome which is very obvious when approaching the town from darker areas, for example from Allendale.

But Wil Cheung's suggestion is very commendable.

Although there are numerous well-designed lights in the town, for example those in the Tesco car park, they are far outnumbered by those which cast a glow upwards, obscuring the stars and affecting wildlife.

If the vast majority of street lighting was replaced with efficient downlight units, not only would there be a saving due to the reduction in wasted energy, but it would become possible to enjoy the Milky Way from areas within the town itself.

I hope Wil is successful in his efforts.

And of course I'm sure the mention of 'astrology' in the article was a typo!