Berkshire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Campaign for Dark Skies

Count the Stars - please help us to promote the initiative!  We will be partnering with National Astronomy Week. 

CPRE Annual Star Count Week Wed. 26th February to Sat. 8th March 2014 (you need to choose a clear night)

The annual event this year will take place on Wednesday 26th February to Saturday 8 March 2014, and all Berkshire Schools and adults are invited to participate in counting the number of starts they can see (with the naked eye) within the constellation of Orion the Hunter - please contact the Branch Office for more details - Tel: 0118 930 6756 or visit the website to see the illustration at www.cpre.org.uk   Count the Stars and enter your count on www.cpre.org.uk/starcount.

Star Count Week 2013 revealed that only 5% said they could see more than 30 stars in Orion - which indicates severe light pollution.

Light pollution has blacked out starry skies - the unnecessary light damages the character of the countryside.  Beams from streetlamps, shops and offices are creating an artificially bright landscape.  The survey conducted by rural campaigners and astronomers found no real improvement in the amount of wasted light being pumped into Britain's skies.  Findings show more than half the population still experience severe light pollution.

The main area of the constellation is bounded by four bright stars.  The Star Count did not include these four corner stars – only those within this rectangular boundary – but did include the stars in the middle, known as Orion’s three star belt.

Volunteers made a count of the stars that could be seen with the naked eye and entered the information on the website: www.cpre.org.uk/starcount which was live in January.  We plan to illustrate how light pollution levels are affecting views of the night sky as we will work with Defra to address the problems caused by light pollution.

CPRE has welcomed the inclusion in the new planning reforms (National Planning Policy Framework) that local councils be encouraged to plan to reduce light pollution, by encouraging good design, planning policies and decisions to control lighting.  We will continue to monitor progress in Local Authority districts across the County.

The next Star Count is about to start - make sure you take part!

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