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Night skies outlook improving according to 2022 Star Count

CPRE West Yorkshire editor
By CPRE West Yorkshire editor
23rd May 2022

CPREs 2022 Star Count found that stargazers are enjoying their best night sky views since the annual Star Count began in 2011.

The results suggest severe light pollution is continuing to fall since its 2020 peak.

It’s possible that working from home – and, sadly, current concerns over soaring energy bills appear to have produced a ‘lockdown legacy’ – resulting in a clearer view of the stars.

The benefits of a star-filled night sky

Like access to other forms of nature, a clear view of a star-filled night sky hugely benefits our mental health, helping reduce stress and increase a sense of peace and wellbeing. Research has shown that regularly looking at the stars can lower blood pressure and reduce depression. Yet, the night sky, a significant part of our natural environment, has no legal protection. At CPRE, we believe that being able to gaze at starry skies is one of the things that make our countryside so special, and we’re working to make sure that we can all experience truly dark night skies.

We can all help!

The good news is that we can all help continue that legacy by turning off garden lights when not in use, and encouraging local councils and businesses to dim street lights and reduce office lighting left on overnight. Not only does that reduce carbon emissions and cut energy bills, but it also improves the natural environment for wildlife and us humans.

Find out more

We care about excessive light pollution caused by streetlights, flood lights and security lighting because this makes our starry skies ever harder to find.

We have a fantastic article about street lighting from leading lighting engineer Dan Lister and a story about stargazing in our Winter 2020 issue of Ways of Seeing magazine.

Night sky with stars over house roof and tree
Seeing a starry night sky Waqar / Unsplash
Ilkley from White Wells