Even in the depths of the countryside, genuine dark starry nights are becoming harder and harder to find. Security lights, floodlights and streetlights all break into the darkness, lighting up the surrounding area. Some of this light is necessary, in order to keep people safe on our streets – but much of it is wasting energy, increasing air pollution and disrupting local people’s sleep. Our quality of life is being reduced by light pollution.
The problem is getting worse, too. In less than a decade, between 1993 and 2000, light pollution across England increased by around a quarter (24%). The amount of truly dark sky dropped to from a sixth of the country to just over a tenth (11%). And seven per cent of our night sky – more than a twentieth – is now so light that people can see clearly.
To see how we arrived at these figures, look at our section on light pollution in your area, which includes our new light pollution maps.
The time has come for central and local governments, alongside businesses and individuals, to start tackling light pollution. So far, nobody has any effective policies aimed at combating the problem.
At central government level, CPRE believes that the Government needs to introduce planning guidance to control light pollution. We are pressing for an indicator that measures light pollution – such as our satellite data and maps .
We are also urging local councils, manufacturers, builders, developers, and retailers to play their part in reducing the amount of light they emit.
And this goes down to household level too. We are asking individuals to stop shining outside lights into the night sky.