The Campaign to Protect Rural England wants everyone to be able to look up on a clear night and see the awesome sight of a star filled sky.
So we are asking you all to take part in our annual Star Count, in order that we can map this country and find out what are the best and what are the worst places at which to look at the heavens.
Last year’s Star Count showed that pollution, often caused by the glare from household, street and sports lighting is making a beautiful starry sky a rare sight for many of us. Only 2% of those who took part in last year’s Star Count told us that they had seen a truly dark sky.
This pollution is dangerous because not only does it destroy part of our national heritage, but it disrupts the natural behaviour of wildlife and can be harmful to health. It is also a waste of energy at a time when we are consciously beginning to live in a more sustainable way.
So, using our Star Count we will lobby Government and local authorities to tackle light pollution and highlight the dark sky areas that need to be protected by enhancing planning policies.
Would you like to take part? It is very simple.
Go outdoors after 7 p.m., when the sky is completely dark, on the first clear night of the eight days from tonight until 28th February.
Look southwards and find the constellation of Orion, the mighty hunter.
It is easily recognisable, four bright stars framing a rough rectangle that includes the three that represent the hunter’s belt. Without using a telescope or binoculars count the number of stars that you can see within the rectangle, not including the four outer stars. You will almost certainly see three, but how many more can you make out? Do your best and when you have counted as many as you can see go to cpre.org.uk/starcount and enter the number with your name and address.
It is very easy to do and we will be very grateful for your support.