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We care about dark skies

Not a star to be seen Not a star to be seen Photo: © Campaign for Dark Skies

Darkness at night is one of the things that defines the countryside and makes it so different from towns and cities. But that darkness is disappearing, and with it our view of the stars and planets.

The wasteful, careless use of outdoor lights is blighting our night sky, stopping us from being able to see the stars. The problem isn’t all lighting, just lights that waste energy by beaming some or all of their light upwards. This causes light pollution, which can be seen as a dirty orange glow lighting up the night sky for miles outside towns and cities

In the absence of light pollution, you can see thousands of stars on a clear, dark night and our own galaxy, the Milky Way, splashed across the heavens. But where there is light pollution, you can see only a couple of dozen of the very brightest stars. Light pollution wastes electricity and energy, and contributes to air pollution and climate change. CPRE is particularly concerned because darkness at night and starry skies are two of the things that – until very recently – have defined the countryside and made it so different from towns and cities. That quality needs to be maintained and restored.

Light pollution in the South East is getting worse

CPRE has used satellite data to create maps which show how much light pollution there is in England. This data shows that light pollution is rapidly increasing in the South East, leaving less and less countryside where we can still enjoy starry, starry nights. According to this data, there are no dark skies are left in Oxfordshire.

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