Councillor John McDowall (foreground) and Councillor Bill Grant get in some stargazing at Belleisle Park in Ayr
The Dark Skies Planetarium is coming to the main lawn in Belleisle Park in Ayr as part of South Ayrshire Council's events to mark Earth Hour 2015 on Saturday 28 March 2015. This will be an opportunity to see stars in a great setting inside and outside of the planetarium.
Scottish local authority Earth Hour Champions in 2012, 2013 and 2014 the Council already has many plans in place for 2015 when lights will be turned off at many well known landmarks and public buildings on Saturday 28 March 2014 from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.
Earth Hour is a worldwide movement to help protect our planet which is organised by WWF. It started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and has since grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide, encouraging individuals, communities, households, and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour as a symbol for their commitment to action on Climate Change.
Councillor John McDowall, Sustainability and the Environment Portfolio Holder for the Council said: "I would encourage individual residents, community groups and local businesses to support Earth Hour 2015. "Taking part makes you realise how much power you actually use and consider ways in which you can reduce it in the future.
"There are lots of events organised during Earth Hour which you can take part in and many of them are free. You can get involved as much or as little as you want, just by turning off your television or other electrical appliances you can make a difference. Why not invite some friends round and then go for a walk, enjoy the stars and celebrate Earth Hour together."
In 2015, the Council will be switching off floodlighting or feature lighting at a number of local landmarks over Earth Hour weekend, proposed sites include:
- Alloway Kirk
- St Nicholas Church ruin in Prestwick
- Fish Cross sculpture, High Street, Ayr
- Poet and Scholar sculpture, High Street, Ayr
- Loudoun Hall courtyard
- Auld Brig, Ayr
- Burns Statue, Burns Statue Square, Ayr
- Kirkoswald Church ruin
- Stumpy Tower, Girvan
- Dundonald Castle in consultation with Historic Scotland
- Newmarket Street Ayr in consultation with Ayr Renaissance
- Ayr Town Hall
- Maybole Town Hall
- Wallace Tower, Ayr
- St John's Tower
Some events you could join in for Earth Hour 2015 in the run up to Earth Hour or on the actual day, Saturday 28 March include:
A very special experience awaits people at the Dark Skies planetarium that will be located on the main lawn at Belleisle. Step inside this specially located planetarium and see the stars as you have never seen them before. An experience not to be missed on 27 March 2015, entry is free but you must book in advance.
- Ghastly Tales on Earth hour's trails
Join our terrifying tour of old Ayr that will start at 8pm at the Ayr High Street side of the Old Brig, Ayr – look out for the lady with the lamp. The route will be from the Auld Brig to the Auld Kirk, up Newmarket Street and down the Sandgate to Ayr Town Hall. There you will be led through the old court and down to the jail cells for more spine chilling tales.
This event will last for approximately an hour and is aimed at adults only with a recommended minimum donation of £4, 50% of which will be donated to WWF. There are only 20 places available so please book your place prior to the walk (contact details below).
Ever fancied golfing in the dark? From 7pm to 8pm at Golf South Ayrshire courses, Harling Drive, Troon there will be an opportunity to try putting in the dark with glowing golf holes and starting boxes. This is a free event and there is no need to book simply turn up and have fun.
A free book event for children to come along to in their PJs and join in the fun of listening to stories on the Earth Hour theme. There will be an event in Symington library on 26 March 2015 from 5pm to 5.45pm, one in Girvan library on 26 March 2015 from 6pm to 6.45pm and one in Alloway library on 27 March 2015 from 6pm to 6.45pm. Places are limited at the libraries so please book in advance at your chosen library.
Join us in Ayr Central on Saturday 21 March 2015, between 11am and 3pm, to pledge your power for Earth Hour. The South Ayrshire Young Scot team will be snapping away with their photo booth, and collecting images to be displayed in Ayr shop windows. No need to book, just turn up to this free event and pledge your power for Earth Hour.
Councillor McDowall concluded: "Our Council is committed to supporting Earth Hour, a global event supported by millions of people around the world, which highlights the need to protect our environment.
"Remember between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday 28 March 2015 support us by taking part and switching lights and other appliances off. With your help we may becoming Earth Hour Champion again in 2015."
We would love to hear what you're doing locally to support the campaign and boost South Ayrshire's chances of achieving 'Earth Hour Champion of the Year' for the fourth year running.
For more information, to book a place at any of the events, or to tell us what you are doing to support Earth Hour 2014 contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01292 612030 or go to www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/earthhour.