Ayrshire switches off for Earth hour

South Ayrshire Council is again supporting Earth Hour on Saturday 31 March 2012 by switching off the lights at notable local landmarks – and is encouraging residents to do the same – for one hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm that day.

Earth Hour is a highly visible way to demonstrate support to combat climate change and is promoted by the WWF.

In 2012, the WWF are looking for outstanding local authority areas whose commitment to the campaign goes over and beyond encouraging residents to switch their lights off for an hour and the Council has already been award ‘Super Local Authority’ status on the strength of their commitment to the campaign this year.

Last year, South Ayrshire was just pipped to the post for first place in the UK, with only the Shetland Isles having more of its residents (per head of population) taking part.

This year, WWF will declare one Local Authority area as ‘Earth Hour Champion of the Year’ and the Council is keen to bring this prestigious accolade to South Ayrshire, by taking an active part in the campaign and encouraging residents and businesses to follow suit, sign up and switch off!

This year a number of local landmarks will be also switched off over Earth Hour – and possibly the whole weekend – between Friday 30 March until Monday 2 April 2012 including:

Floodlighting at Alloway Kirk, Floodlighting at St Nicholas Church Ruin in Prestwick, Floodlighting at Fish Cross sculpture, High Street, Ayr, Floodlighting at Poet & Scholar sculpture, High Street, Ayr, Feature lighting in Loudoun Hall Courtyard, Floodlighting at Auld Brig, Ayr, Floodlighting of Burns Statue, Burns Statue Square, Ayr, Kirkoswald church ruin floodlighting, Kirkoswald, Floodlighting at Stumpy Tower, Girvan, Dundonald Castle Floodlighting (in consultation with Historic Scotland), Ayr, Newmarket Street feature lighting (in consultation with Ayr Renaissance), Ayr Town Hall floodlighting

· Maybole Town Hall floodlighting

· Wallace Tower, Ayr, floodlighting

· St John’s Tower, Ayr, floodlighting

South Ayrshire Council’s Chief Executive David Anderson said: “Earth Hour is a beautifully simple idea that’s become a massive global phenomenon - successfully uniting hundreds of millions of people across the planet, in symbolic act with a huge environmental message.

“South Ayrshire Council is fully committed to the switch off and we’re asking all our residents to support us by taking part and doing your bit for climate change, by just switching your lights off for one hour on Saturday 31 March.”

Speaking on behalf of the South Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership, Karen Herbert from Voluntary Action South Ayrshire and Duncan Baird from Ayr College said: “We are delighted to be fully supporting the WWF Earth Hour campaign in 2012.

“Switching off our lights for an hour on 31 March is one small, but very significant way in which we can promote the very real challenges we face from our changing climate.

“We’re keen to encourage everyone to do their bit in tackling these issues and we’re actively working to deliver our commitments in relation to Scotland’s Climate Change Declaration which the partners signed up to in 2011”

Businesses including Enterkine House Hotel, Prestwick’s Golf View Hotel and the Heads of Ayr Farm Park are also participating.

For more information about WWF’s Earth Hour or to register for this year’s event, visit: www.wwfscotland.org.uk/earthhour.

We’d also like to hear about what you’re doing for Earth Hour and your efforts count towards the goal of becoming ‘Earth Hour Champion of the Year’ so please let us know by visiting: www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/earthhour