The Campaign to Protect Rural England CPRE are a countryside charity that organises an annual event to count and chart the stars in the sky around the UK. The aim is to reconnect people with ‘the wonder of a truly dark sky’ and map light pollution in this part of the world. Their research shows that light pollution is “leaving fewer stars than ever visible”.
This cosmic census will be completed by ‘citizen scientists’ across the country from the 6-14th February 2021. It is the perfect family activity that can be enjoyed by everyone in a household during lockdown, without even leaving home. Most adults have experienced the breathtaking beauty of a starlit sky on a clear night at some point in their lives and also the uplifting sense of awe it can inspire.
Spotting how many stars are seen within Orian is easy due to the guidance given by the organisation that campaigns to improve environmental conditions in rural areas. It is possible to take part even if you don’t have a garden or outdoor space. A clear window or balcony to the heavens is all that is needed. To sign up for all the details and get involved follow the link below.
CPRE’s work is involved in a wide range of areas including nature and landscapes, better places to live, farming, sustainable transport and climate change and energy.
Last year 2400 people took part and the information that they recorded helped to conclude that “61% of people live in areas with severe light pollution.” This was up by 4% from the previous years findings. On the upside more than 3% of stargazers reported seeing more than 30 stars within Orian in the 2020 count. (2)
The Campaign to Protect Rural England is advising local councils across the country in how to take steps to adopt better policies in their local plans, in order to reduce light pollution. If the initiative works it will help more families experience the joy of star filled skies in the future.
(1) ‘Be the first to hear about Star Count 2021’ CPRE the countryside charity, 13 January 2021 ‘Be the first to hear about Star Count 2021’ CPRE the countryside charity,
(2) ‘The results of our 2020 Star Count are in’ Campaign to Protect Rural England, Emma Marrington, 28th May 2020 ‘‘The results of our 2020 Star Count are in’ Emma Marrington, CPRE countryside charity