Star count 2019 - No 'truly dark' skies in Herefordshire, sadly

Photo Matthew Savage

The results are out! Well done all of you who braved some chilly night skies to join our citizen science project, mapping 'truly dark' (sadly not many) to severely light-polluted skies. One lucky sky watcher in Stretton Grandison enjoyed a 'dark sky' with 26 stars visible. We only managed 11 above the brightly-lit station in Ledbury. See the countrywide interactive map here

Star count map 2019

Over the country as a whole, over half of all participants (57%) failed to see more than ten stars, meaning that they are severely impacted by light pollution. In contrast, only 9% of people experienced ‘dark skies’, counting between 21 and 30 stars, and just 2% experienced ‘truly dark skies’ and were able to count more than 30 stars – half the proportion of people able to do so during the previous Star Count, in 2014.

These results show just how far-reaching the glow from street and buildings lighting is.  

Emma Marrington at CPRE says ‘By using well-designed lighting only when and where it is needed, investing in street light dimming schemes and considering part-night lighting – which should of course be done in consultation with the local community and police – councils have a fantastic opportunity to limit the damage caused by light pollution, reduce carbon emissions and save money.

Without intervention, our night sky will continue to be lost under a veil of artificial light, to the detriment of our own health, and the health of the natural world.

CPRE is reaching out to the public to play their part too. By ensuring that security and outdoor lights are only turned on when and where they are needed, everyone can do their bit to limit light pollution.'