ECO-warrior Richard Mackenzie has launched a one-man campaign to turn the lights out in Witney.

Mr Mackenzie, of Manor Road, has hand-delivered 90 letters to shops in the town centre he spotted with their lights glaring during his night-time patrols.

He wants shopkeepers to think about their carbon footprint, and either turn off their lights at night or switch to more energy-efficient methods.

He said: “It’s looking at what we can do as a community to influence climate change and do our bit.

“I have had so many people saying that one man can’t change things, but I want to prove that if you put your head above the parapet, people do take notice.”

Among the success stories so far is Helen and Douglas House charity shop, in Market Square, which has agreed to turn off its lights.

Mr Mackenzie said: “I am so grateful to places that have agreed to turn off their lights as it does show that people can be compassionate towards climate change and we can really make a difference.”

The 29-year-old has already hit the headlines in the Witney Gazette this year.

In April, he started a petition to get Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust to review its criteria for funding fertility treatment, because he and his partner had been deemed too young to receive it.

The campaigner said he was inspired to write to the shops in High Street, Corn Street, Market Square, Woolgate, and Wesley Walk after watching the film The Age of Stupid, screened at the Corn Exchange, in Witney, a few weeks ago. The film, directed by Franny Armstrong, looks into the future, and asks why we did not do more to stop climate change.

As he left the showing, at about 10pm, he noticed the number of lights left on in Witney’s shops. Mr Mackenzie said: “What I am trying to do for the shops that say ‘I want to keep my lights on for security’ is to get them to go for light-emitting diodes (LED), which use a fraction of the light a halogen bulb uses, but are twice as bright.”

Robert Scott-Lee, managing director of Chancellors estate agents, which has a branch in Witney, replied to Mr Mackenzie’s letter.

He said: “Following on from the letter, I will be reviewing with our facilities manager the timings we set for the timers on our lights at night across our whole network, so we can most effectively balance our need to save energy and promote the properties marketed with us through our window advertising.”

Fran Eggleshaw, from Boots, in High Street, said that she would pass on Mr Mackenzie’s concerns for the next review meeting.

St Andrew’s Bookshop, in High Street, and Claire’s Accessories, in Market Square, have also both promised to make changes.