News accounts are reporting the results of a study by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) that half of Britain can no longer see a starry night due to light pollution.
“The CPRE and the Campaign for Dark Skies said 53 percent of those taking part failed to see more than 10 stars in the familiar Orion constellation, the BBC reported…”
Initiatives are not yet solving this growing problem. The CPRE and the British Astronomical Association are calling for a reduction in light pollution not only for stargazers, but also to reduce and eliminate the impact on wildlife and sleeping patterns.
“Light pollution is a disaster for anyone trying to study the stars. It’s like a veil of light is being drawn across the night sky, denying many people the beauty of a truly starry night. Many children growing up today will never see the Milky Way; never see the unimaginable glory of billions of visible stars shining above them,” says Bob Mizon, Campaign for Dark Skies Coordinator.
Richard Stevens from the University of Connecticut Health Centre says, “In an environment where there is much artificial light at night there is much more opportunity for exposure of the retina to photons that might disrupt circadian rhythm.”
CPRE is recommending new planning reforms with the National Planning Policy Framework and that local councils continue to work towards reducing light pollution through better design, planning and lighting control.