Reducing light pollution and protecting our naturally dark landscapes wherever they are still to be found.
What You Said About Dark Skies
I love the night sky and feel it is essential for health and well-being – not just for humans but for wildlife. The sky belongs to us all and no-one has the authority, in my opinion, to take it from us.
Having no dark skies would be like living in a house with no windows.
Nature has never experienced light at night like this and we will surely pay the price.
Dark skies should be enjoyed by everyone. A clear night is a wonder of the world. Sadly, dark skies are disappearing fast. We must reverse this trend before it’s too late.
Light pollution interferes with natural cycles.
Most of the time I live near Geneva, Switzerland. The Société Astronomique de Genève, my local club, has been very active in educating the public about the effects of light pollution for many years, culminating in a Switching Off event of all public lighting in the canton and city of Geneva, the neighbouring districts of the canton of Vaud and many communities of neighbouring France, affecting over 500,000 people. My second home is in Suffolk, which still enjoys relatively dark skies but is threatened with “development projects” where light pollution may not be a priority. I would like to offer sharing the experience of our local efforts in Switzerland to help the situation in Britain.
Dark skies allow us to observe the majestic beauty the universe has to offer; it is a portal to the past and our future. As astronomers, we already have to battle the weather and, with urban development expanding into the countryside, it is becoming ever more difficult to find a dark space to explore the night sky. It is vital that we protect our dark skies so future generations can enjoy the same wonder that previous generations have had for thousands of years.
North Essex Astronomical Society
There’s nothing quite as awe-inspiring as looking up at the Milky Way on a dark night.
I want to enjoy the peace, beauty and sense of awe that you are part of the universe that you feel whilst looking at the stars.
Rwy’n caru’r nos pan mae’r awyr yn llawn o ser. Mae’n arall-fydol! I love the dark nights when the heavens are filled with stars. You are transported to other worlds beyond. Many years ago I stopped a street-lighting effort in my proudly dark valley. Good luck to “Dark skies Matter”. Hwyl Fawr!
I love the night sky and the dark environment.
To protect wildlife, the climate and to preserve dark skies for astronomy.
As a lifelong astronomer, the diminishing dark skies are a detriment to both humans and wildlife alike.
There is too much light scatter from neighbourhood house lights. Especially so called security flood lights. There need to be legislative controls.
I am a keen amateur astronomer and also a wildlife enthusiast.
Light pollution affects access to the night skies, harms the environment, impacts wildlife and wastes money lighting the sky.
For my astronomy, mountaineering, environment and happiness!
An amateur astronomer, all we see, observe and image depends on the darkness of the night.
One of my hobbies is astronomy. In a recent star count I could only count four stars inside the constellation of Orion including the three ‘belt’ stars from my back garden. This is down to the orange street lights which surround the area which are completely unnecessary in my opinion.
As a child I saw the stars I would like to see them again. If you walk in the dark with barefoot shoes you can feel and increasingly see as night vision returns your way. Light creates fear at night.
Dark skies matter for maintaining as natural an environment as possible for our ecology. We don’t always need to light up the dark!
We live in the Chilterns AONB, a very affluent part of the country. Our dark skies are blighted not only by light from nearby towns but also from unessential external lighting and light spillage from extensive areas of glazing without curtains or blinds from the many large houses nearby.
Taking photos of the night sky is what helped me push through COVID. It’s a shame to see the nightglow above Woking and surrounding areas and compare what I can see with what friends in dark sky areas can see and take pictures of. We can and must do better. For ourselves, for others, and as a legacy for all those who come after all of us.
I have a telescope and light pollution spoils the use of it.
It reminds me of how rare Earth is and that we need to take care of it.
Respecting our place on Earth and in the cosmos. Seeing the clear, unpolluted night sky is one of the most magical, sacred experiences of being human …
Feel the wonder without the electricity intervening
There are so many reasons to me why dark skies matter, for flora and fauna as well as ourselves. Let’s do our best to stop the rot and try to return to a more natural balance, as far as we can in today’s world.
We must never allow the wonders and majesty of the night sky to be lost or become difficult to observe.
The beauty and tranquillity of the night sky from a dark site provide a calmness and feeling of well-being that is missing from much of our modern lives. They also help to foster an interest in science for people of all ages, but especially youngsters.
I would like the human race, animals and vegetation, etc to fully benefit from controlled lighting.
I am an amateur astronomer struggling in a Bortle 8 area and gaining no support from the local lighting supplier whose only response is ‘we conform to regulation’. I am concerned that the emphasis is on preserving existing dark skies rather than reducing the pollution in urban areas, the white light illumination in my area is too bright, too tall and poorly managed throughout the night.
The night sky is something that everyone should be able to enjoy and at Sherwood Observatory we are passionate about preserving the beauty of it for all.
Only recently have I come to realise how bright our night skies are and never appreciated the beauty of the skies. When we can look out to the beauty of the universe it helps humble us in awe of how vast the universe is and how small and delicate our world is.
The solution is to get planning authorities to carry out their duties with public interest at their centre of thought.
The planning authorities are shirking their public responsibilities
So much light illuminating the sky does no-one any good. Keep it where we need it, please! My All Sky Camera will work so much better then.
Environmentalist to the core, for the planet, wildlife and well-being, dark skies matter
We want to reconnect people with the wonders of a dark starry sky. Darkness at night is one of thekey characteristics of rural areas – it’s what makes the countryside different from towns or cities.But too much light in urban areas can be problematic, and light doesn’t respect boundaries; it canspread for miles from the source and blurs the distinction between town and country. Even in thedepths of the countryside, genuine dark starry nights are becoming harder to find – security lights,floodlights and streetlights all break into the darkness, blurring the distinction between town andcountryside. Not only that, but light pollution is shown to be harmful to wildlife, to our own healthand wellbeing, and excess light is contributing to our carbon emissions.
Sophie Spencer CPRE Avon and Bristol
I am old enough to remember a time when the night Sky was much darker than it is today. The skiesthen, when it was clear, seemed to contain far more stars than you can see now, set against ablacker backdrop. Urban night Skies are blighted by light pollution, and in most city areas you mighteven struggle to see some of the brighter stars at night. This is not just because cities have lots oflights, so that people can see where they are going, but it is because the lighting is so very bad,spilling over in all direction. I have always lived in a rural area, but it is quite evident that even inrural areas bad lighting is creeping in. You have badly angled insecurity lighting; but some of theworst offenders are without doubt, new industrial parks and units; and sporting facilities. Floodlighting that spills in all directions can be seen to turn the night sky into a bright blue white blindingglare. This is happening in rural Britain, and in all respects we are losing more of the rural quality ofsome country areas. Part shut off street lights has helped to a certain extent, though. Lighting uplarge areas of countries at night could have dire consequences for wildlife. Nocturnal animals think itis daytime, when it is actually night, and diurnal animals are affected too. Animals that are active byday, need to rest at night. People also need to sleep at night. If everything is lit as bright as day, andlight is pouring into your bedroom at night, this can mean that people suffer from insomnia. For bothwildlife and people, lighting up the night will have health consequences, and could even shorten lifeexpectancy. I have been fortunate enough to travel to places in the world where there is no lightpollution. Zero light pollution and a star studded clear transparent sky is breath-taking. The MilkyWay is so bright, it looks like bright clouds. Even stars that look dim from home, are bright fromthese areas, making it more difficult to identify the patterns of the constellations marked by thebrighter stars. Even in Britain and Ireland, there are still many places where it is very dark at night.On a clear night, this is something everyone should witness. If a sky is really dark at night you won’tbe able to see the clouds above you when it is cloudy. If you can see lots of clouds at night easily,then the light pollution is quite bad where you live. Even though I live in a rural area, there is enoughlight spilling out from the urban areas to make it reasonably easy to see clouds at night. When youfly back on an aircraft at night back into a UK airport on the cloudy night, you can often see wherethe Cities and towns are from the aircraft, as the clouds are lit up from beneath. This shows howmuch energy is wasted in lighting up the sky. The Dark Sky Parks have been highly successful and thishas helped to preserve the night-time rural quality of these areas. I personally would like to see evenmore dark sky parks and islands in the United Kingdom, even in Leicestershire where I live andparticularly Rutland; close by. It is not lighting that is the problem, it is bad lighting. People want lightat night to light the area of their property or to provide some light to our streets at night. It is thespillage of light far and wide from the area it should be lighting that is the problem. You could,though, argue, in urban areas that there are too many lights. We have to educate people, localauthorities, the lighting manufacturers, and government about how detrimental bad lighting can beto the environment and to people’s health. All you can say is that bad lighting is bad for theenvironment. Bad for the health and wellbeing of the population. Bad economically, bad because ofthe loss of that part of our culture that let us view a blacker than black sky at night, studded withstars so bright. You would look up in wonder at such a sky. Such a sky would have inspired people tobecome scientists in the past. It is a loss than really can be reversed, by being sensible as to how welight up property and streets at night.
Conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of dark night skies of the Mendip Hills AONB not onlygives our, and future generations the opportunity to observe the stars and the nocturnal world around us, but most importantly ensure the recovery of nature. By turning off unnecessary artificial lighting and promoting better building design, we can enhance the nocturnal environment, enabling nocturnal species to forage more naturally, and we can help restore uninterrupted diurnal rhythms of plants, animals and humans. By signing up to the Dark Skies Matter campaign we are raising awareness of the natural beauty of the dark night skies of the AONB and the nocturnal environment, helping to ensure that dark night skies will be above us for the future.
Judith Chubb-Whittle Mendip Hills AONB
Markshall Estate is home to thousands of species of flora and fauna for whom a balanced natural eco-system is of crucial importance. We support Dark Skies Matter because air and light pollution are a threat to the health and wellbeing of people, plants and animals.
Kath Cockshaw Markshall Estate
The welcoming homecoming offered by a starry night.
I want the burning stars of the night sky, impossibly many, to intrude upon my consciousness on a clear night, as they did when I was a child, and I want people who are children today to have that experience - indeed for it to be normal.
I feel deprived and upset when I walk outside at night and can nothing of the beauty of the skies. If Westminster Abbey were made invisible by pollution there would be an uproar. In my view the desecration of the night is worse!
As a child living in suburbia, I loved looking up at the stars. Now I live in a rural area near Gatwick and there are so few stars visible. And where have all the moths gone? We used to have to clean them off the windscreen of the car and off the headlights, but not now! There is such a decline in night flying insects which have been affected by light pollution, surely it has to be toned down. During the last war there was total blackout, yet people managed to find their way about. It's crazy to say we need lights to see when the down side is that we are interfering with nature so badly.
Penny Tyson-Davies British Horse Society
Pockets of street lighting in semi rural areas are a complete waste of resources. If you need a torch for three quarters of your walk why ruin the night sky with street lamps on the remaining stretch . Torches are fun for children. Buy rechargeable ones.s
I was privileged as a child to live under dark skies in North Yorkshire and the perspective it gave me on life and the Universe in which we are just stardust has stayed with me ever since.I seek them out where I now live in East Anglia but security lights and street lighting make them much harder to find even in rural areas.
My children are becoming more interested in space and we’ve been disappointed by the light pollution around tonbridge which impacts on our ability to star gaze. Children should be supported in exploring the universe from their own back yards.
Biodiversity matters in this ecological crisis!
As an urban amateur astronomer I am stunned by how much light pollution has increased over the past 4 decades of my lifetime. I can only begin to imagine the impact of this on the natural world.
We in South Oxfordshire are working hard to protect the dark skies of the Chilterns AONB and the rest of our district.
I remember those times when we could see dark skies not far away from the town. Now, we have to travel at least 1 hour away from the city, possibly in the middle of no where and yet, you wont be able to see a perfectly clear sky. This is really disturbing for me.