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Bodmin Moor awarded Dark Sky Landscape status

7 July 2017

CPRE is very pleased by today’s announcement that Bodmin Moor in the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been awarded Dark Sky Landscape status by the International Dark-Sky Association, the first AONB to gain this recognition. Such places are designated by the international body if they meet standards for night sky quality and natural darkness in a core area, with a peripheral area that supports preserving the dark sky at the core. 

The International Dark-Sky Association works to give people the opportunity to experience the wonder of a natural night sky; and to lessen the impact of artificial light on human health, wildlife and climate change.

Emma Marrington, senior rural policy campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, comments:

"We are delighted that Bodmin Moor, the largest part of Cornwall AONB at over 80 square miles, has been internationally recognised for the quality of its dark skies. This is a huge achievement led by Cornwall Council and Caradon Observatory, to achieve lasting protection for the stunning night skies above Bodmin Moor. 

“We are particularly pleased that the bid was enhanced by CPRE’s Night Blight mapping, which is the first time a Dark Sky bid has used the maps as complementary evidence. The maps, created by LUC, were launched last year and showed that Cornwall is the 4th darkest county, with the Cornwall AONB having 63% pristine night skies, free from light pollution, compared with 22% of England overall. The maps showed that the skies above Bodmin Moor are exceptionally dark.

“We hope this will inspire people to visit Bodmin Moor to enjoy the experience of a truly dark starry sky; an opportunity denied to many of us who live under the constant glow of light pollution. This huge achievement means that the exceptional darkness of these skies will be protected for the benefit of current and future generations."

CPRE hopes other AONBs will pursue Dark Sky status - and use our Night Blight maps, given that our mapping found that 40% of England’s pristine night skies are above England’s 34 AONBs. Detailed maps are available for all English counties, districts, AONBs, National Parks and National Character Areas, along with an interactive map for Britain.

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