Gloucestershire cycle path to be glow worm friendly

Artificial lighting disturbs mating habits

Lighting on a new cycle path in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire will automatically switch off at 11pm so as not to disturb the resident glow worms.

But cyclists won't be left totally in the dark – the female of the species emits a green light that's about as bright as a standard LED.

In fact, that's just the problem – she's not bright enough. When there are artificial lights nearby, males are attracted to those instead.

The 0.5km section of path between Northway Lane and the town's Morrisons supermarket is being laid as part of Gloucestershire County Council's initiative to create a new 'green' corridor in Tewkesbury.

It will join an existing section of the Newtown Cycle Path linking Green Lane and Gannaway Lane by the end of December. The total project is estimated to cost £150,000, and will be joint funded by Gloucestershire Highways and sustainable transport charity Sustrans, who will contribute via their routes to schools programme.  

Councillor Mike Sztymiak said: "This long-awaited car-free route linking Tewkesburytown to Newtown and the industrial estates will encourage walking and cycling while enabling the public to enjoy the biodiversity of this environmentally sensitive area." The completed cycle path will form the centrepiece of the town's Get Cycling' events and cycling festival in May 2010. 

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