Wildlife & Habitats

Dark Night Skies

East/West Meridian Signpost with North Star and Trails
East/West Meridian Signpost with North Star and Trails

The south east is one of the most light-polluted areas in the UK, with street and outdoor lighting affecting the dark night skies. The orange skyglow from our towns and cities can be seen for miles around. Only a small per cent of the region can be called ‘truly dark’ and in many areas the stars can not be seen at all due to light pollution. This shows that there is a lot of waste of energy and makes it more difficult for us to view the night sky. Modern street lighting in towns and cities can really help this issue by casting a different kind of light and dimming or turning off later in the evening.

Light pollution also causes lots of problems for nocturnal animals, affecting their ability to find food and remain undetected by predators.

There are a few pockets of true dark night skies within the National Park and these are very important. In areas where dark night skies remain, the National Park is the ideal place to experience the best free light show there is, with twinkling stars, whizzing comets and bright planets scattered across the sky.

We all have a part to play in improving our night time environment. Join us on the journey to find out if the South Downs National Park can join Exmoor and Brecon Beacons in being Dark Sky Reserves.

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