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Star Count Results 2023

Star Count Results 2023 Abigail Oliver

27th April 2023

Star Count 2023 – the results are in. Only one in 20 of us can enjoy a starry sky.

This February, we invited you to take part in CPRE’s Star Count, a cosmic census to map our view of the night sky. Almost 4000 of you took part across the country – thank you.

But the results suggest that only 5% of people can enjoy the wonder of a truly dark starry sky.

Although the beauty of a starry night sky is one of the joys of the countryside, sadly, most people can’t easily enjoy that sight because of light pollution where they live. Three-quarters of people in the UK have an obscured view of the night sky.

The results show that 51% of people counted ten or fewer stars in the Orion constellation. This indicates severe light pollution, and is a 2.5% increase from last year.

Here in Dorset, over 107 people submitted Star Count results. 38.3% counted less than 10 stars, and 3.7% more than 30.

Stars counted Number Percent
0>5 9 8.4
6>10 32 29.9
11>15 30 28.0
16>20 16 15.0
21>25 14 13.1
26>30 2 1.9
>30 4 3.7
TOTAL 107 100.0

 

Dark night skies are a special quality of the Dorset AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and contribute to the areas sense of tranquillity and remoteness. The Cranborne Chase AONB (overlapping the boundaries of Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Somerset) was designated an International Dark Sky Reserve in October 2019. A combination of clear night skies and low levels of light pollution make Dorset one of the best places in the country for stargazing.

Why are dark skies important?
Artificial light causes confusion to migrating birds, often with fatal outcomes. It interrupts natural rhythms, including the reproduction, feeding and sleeping patterns of pollinating insects, bats and nocturnal animals. In humans, exposure to light at night interrupts sleep and can disrupt the body’s production of melatonin, a brain hormone best known for its daily role in resetting the body’s biological clock.

It is clear that we need some action NOW!

Ask your MP to stand up for starry skies.

Local councils must take a strong approach to manage light pollution. Local planning and street lighting policies must be strengthened to protect dark skies. CPRE is also calling for minimum standards to be introduced nationally for the management of external lighting to cut light pollution.

 

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