Solar power lights the way on Rugby's Park Connector Network
ECO-FRIENDLY solar-powered lights have been installed on Rugby's Park Connector Network.
The Solareye lights now illuminate pathways at New Bilton's Freemantle Open Space and Brownsover's Sorrel Drive and Brooklime Drive.
Rugby Borough Council launched the Park Connector Network to improve access to open spaces and create a network of 'green' travel corridors across the borough.
In 2020, the council repaired and laid more than 2,000 metres of pathways, with the addition of the Solareye lights aiming to encourage residents to enjoy open spaces all year round.
Solareye specialises in creating sustainable lighting for pathways and cycle tracks.
The council has installed nearly 500 of the company's 'Bat Hat' lights - solar-powered lights designed to reduce upward light pollution, which disturbs the movement and feeding patterns of bats and other nocturnal species, impacting biodiversity and the wider ecosystem.
Each light has no cables or sockets, with the battery charging automatically during daylight hours and switching on at dusk. The battery has a lifespan of at least eight years, while each LED light has a lifespan of more than 100,000 hours.
The recent work on the Park Connector Network has been funded via the Government's Pocket Park programme, Section 106 contributions, grants from Fields in Trust and council funds.
Cllr Howard Roberts, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for environment and public realm, said: "We've witnessed a sharp rise in visitors to our parks and green spaces since the start of the pandemic, and the latest lockdown has led many residents to exercise later in the evenings, either after working during the day or home schooling.
"Our high quality, wider Park Connector pathways cater for walkers, runners and cyclists, and we've received a lot of positive feedback since installing the Solareye lights.
"We're now working to identify new streams of funding in order to grow the Park Connector Network in other parts of the borough."