Lights Out in Navenby sees the village come alive for Earth Hour

Navenby residents and visitors turned out on Saturday evening to mark Earth Hour with the ‘Lights Off’ community event from Mrs Smith’s Cottage.

Julie Gillon of Navenby.
Julie Gillon of Navenby.

While residents were encouraged to turn off lights in their homes for Earth Hour, the village was brought to life with light art, nature, astronomy and heritage activities encouraging them to connect with nature.

Earth Hour took place from 8.30pm to 9.30pm when all over the world communities agreed to switch off their lights in support of people and the planet, saving energy and cutting down on light pollution.

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Artists were stationed at locations around the village including the Methodist Church helping people to create their own light art using long-exposure photography and a variety of tools from torches to light boxes and the novel PixelSticks.

Light painting with slow exposure photography.

Event organisers Grevatte and Co said: “The PixelSticks enable you to paint with light – they ‘print’ a picture in the air, line by line, which is then captured in long-exposure a photo. This allowed us to put the world, wildlife and even Mrs Hilda Smith herself into dynamic new images with local families.

“It’s great fun to do, and we had so many people of all ages giving it a try. The results are really exciting and brought heritage to life in a completely new way. We’re delighted that so many residents turned out to take part; turning their lights off and connecting with nature and heritage on their doorsteps.

“We’d like to thank the residents and businesses of Navenby, Lincoln Astronomical Society, Hill Holt Wood, The Hub, 1st Wellingore Scout Group, Macy's Brasserie and Navenby C of E Primary School for being part of ‘Lights Off’ and for all their help in delivering the event.”

Over 90 people attended The Venue to take part in astronomical photography with Lincoln Astronomic Society. Using state of the art equipment to track and photograph stars, those who attended got a glimpse of the cosmos beyond what is usually possible with the naked eye.

From left -Jacob Thompson 11 and Noah Thompson 9 of Navenby.

More than 35 people attended a bat walk around the village, led by Rangers from Hill Holt Wood. Participants were given bat detectors to help them pick out the sonar signals from the wildlife, with the church being a particular hotspot.

The cottage was lit up with images of Mrs Smith from its archives as well as Promise Jar Lanterns created by visitors in a previous workshop to light up the dark of Earth Hour and share climate pledges - from walking more and driving less to buying more toys second hand. The old jam jars decorated with old embroidery patterns and paint were transformed into lanterns with a solar string of lights inside and a simple string handle.

Businesses on the village high street were lit up during Earth Hour using PixelSticks to show off people’s promises to take action against climate change, as well as photos of nature captured in gardens and images of past residents projected onto walls.

This event marks the start of a series of activities coming up from April to October at Mrs Smith’s Cottage, under the banner ‘Be More Hilda’. The work will explore the simple and sustainable life of Hilda Smith and what it can teach us about being more environmentally friendly today.

Jason Hippisley with Joseph Hippisley 10 and Florence Hippisley 8.

Find out more about the project at

‘Lights Off’ was funded as part of the Mrs Smith’s Cottage Restoration project, through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and North Kesteven District Council.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund Thanks To You event enabled anyone with a lottery ticket or scratchcard to get a free drink from Macy’s Brasserie.

Archive image projections during Earth Hour at Mrs Smith's Cottage, Navenby.
Earth Hour at Mrs Smith's Cottage.
The Lights Off bat walk through Navenby. Photo: NKDC
Light art photography during the Lights Off event in Navenby. Photo: NKDC
Visitors having a go at light art at Mrs Smith's Cottage in Navenby. Photo: NKDC