Our unique dark rural setting on the fringe of Bodmin Moor has an opportunity to make an historic mark, which will enhance our lifestyle, protect our community and last for generations to come.
Cornwall Council and Caradon Observatory have proposed a bid to have Bodmin Moor recognised as a Gold standard International Dark Sky Park, arguably comparable to World Heritage Site status. The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit and the Campaign to Protect Rural England support the proposal and with public backing, the council will submit the decision this summer.
Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for planning, said: “I’m thrilled with this initiative. It mixes the ageless fascination and romance of the stars with real science and learning, and it has tangible opportunities for tourism too.
“Recent observatory data shows that the quality of the night sky over Bodmin Moor is amongst the best in the world. Achieving recognition of this through an International Dark Sky Park designation would help protect the night sky from light pollution and bring other benefits, including providing a focus for awareness and learning about the stars and solar systems, a further draw for visitors to the area and a starrier sky for local residents.”
International Dark Sky Parks must be a protected landscape, and Bodmin Moor is already known as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Furthermore, the area must also provide a high-quality night sky, demonstrate means of an awareness and education opportunity, and have a management plan to minimise light pollution.
In the UK, there are currently three International Dark Sky Parks.
Dr Wayne Thomas, an amateur astronomer from the Caradon Observatory, said: “The quality of the skies at the observatory shows how important it is to maintain such a beautiful and natural gift. Making sure that artificial light is kept at a sensible level throughout the moor is just one part of preserving the heritage, natural landscape and biodiversity for future generations to enjoy.”
By supporting the application we can help control LIGHT POLLUTION which obscures the night sky. Reduce excess artificial light that shines where it is neither needed nor wanted, excessive brightness & by replacing up lights with down lighting.
Simply turning off unnecessary lights will save money.
Nocturnal species are an obvious victim of light pollution, but the breeding rituals of frogs and many other species are also being affected, around the globe. Being drawn towards artificial light, instead of the oceans’ bright horizon, is responsible for the loss of millions of hatchling sea turtles every year, similarly migrating birds miss their ideal nesting and foraging conditions because they wander off course by unnecessary illumination or cannot navigate by the stars.
We maybe take it for granted living here, but looking skywards at night you can’t help but be in awe and moved by the sheer beauty, brilliance and magnitude of the night sky.
Many, in fact millions, never benefit from this humbling experience, simply because there is too much light intrusion in and around where they live.
You can read more here> http://darksky.org/idsp/parks and watch this space for updates. Go outside and do some research, just after sunset look up and you can spot the International Space Station. Thank You Areina for the research