Celebrate Star Count 2022
Did you know that only 5% of people in the UK enjoy truly dark skies? Light pollution stops most of us from seeing the stars.
This is especially true in London of course, where light streams from our buildings and street lamps. And where the tops of tall buildings are marked in neon scarlet to prevent aeroplanes – flashing red and green as they approach Heathrow, Luton, City Airport and Gatwick – from colliding into them.
All that, combined with cloudy skies, makes seeing the stars almost impossible for Londoners. But not completely. There are some parts of London – in the middle of our biggest parks, for example – where the darkness is velvet.
That’s why we’ve organised a short walk at the Olympic Park in Stratford east London on 2 March. This event will take place during CPRE’s Star Count week and we’ll be joined by a lighting designer, dark sky campaigner and an expert in bats – a species that really depend on darkness.
We’ll be stopping here and there, talking about lighting design, pollution, and – who knows? We may even see some stars!
Join the Star Count
CPRE’s Star Count takes place from 26 February to 6 March. For two weeks, up and down the country, people will be gazing up at the heavens and counting stars to help CPRE measure our dark skies.
The idea is to look up at the constellation, Orion, and let CPRE know how many stars you can count around it. This is a great project to do with friends – a Covid-safe way to socialise what with it being outdoors – and with kids when it’s not a school night!
You’ll find more information – including hints and tips on how to count stars – on the national CPRE website.
Reduce light pollution
If you want some help reducing light pollution so that you can enjoy and count stars more regularly, we have some resources to help.
Created with the Dark Sky London initiative, these include:
- an introduction to light pollution – Dark Skies in London Intro
- a ten-point action plan to protect London’s night sky – the Dark Sky London Action Plan
- and a guide to lighting design – CPRE London Protecting the Night guide.
We can all do the little things like close our curtains when we turn our lights on, and switch off unnecessary lights. Even small steps will help us reduce light pollution and reclaim London’s starlit skies.