Reclaiming our dark skies

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CPRE's view

CPRE believes that darkness at night is one of the key characteristics of rural areas and it represents a major difference between what is rural and what is urban. Security lights, floodlights and streetlights all break into the darkness and create a veil of light across the night sky.

While CPRE agrees that some of this light is necessary, much of it is wasting energy, shining upwards where it isn’t needed, spilling into homes, disrupting people’s sleep and affecting the behaviour of wildlife. The quality of our lives and natural world is being diminished by light pollution, yet there are simple things that can be done to ensure light shines only where and when it is needed.

Light doesn’t respect boundaries; it can spread for miles from the source and blurs the distinction between town and country. Light spilling up into the night sky is also a waste of energy and money - local councils were estimated to spend £613 million on street lighting in 2014-15 - and the lights can account for between 15-30% of a council’s carbon emissions.

We’re not saying there should be no artificial light at all, but it should be the right type of lighting and only used where and when it is needed. We want to see more done to ensure that our communities are lit in a responsible way, with local authorities considering how they can improve their approach to street lighting, ensuring that new developments are lit appropriately and that areas of existing dark skies are protected.

About us

We campaign for a beautiful and living countryside. We work to protect, promote and enhance our towns and countryside to make them better places to live, work and enjoy, and to ensure the countryside is protected for now and future generations.

Tel: 020 7981 2800 | Email: |
Registered charity number: 1089685, registered company number: 4302973

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