West Cornwall community in bid for dark sky status

Monday 15th July 2019 20:34 BST

In a mission to preserve the amazing quality of the night sky in West Cornwall, the local community is coming together, with support from Cornwall Council, to achieve International Dark Sky Reserve designation.

Bodmin Moor has already achieved an international dark sky designation, the first ever awarded to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and it means the West Cornwall sky can also be protected from light pollution as well as providing a focus for awareness and learning about the stars and solar systems.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Neighbourhoods and Public Protection Rob Nolan said: “The designation status does not mean that the whole region will be plunged into darkness, its aim is to improve lighting so that it does not spill upwards and is not overly bright.

“Another part of Cornwall gaining dark sky status would be a real string to our bow - who wouldn’t want to visit and gaze at the beautiful Cornish night sky and learn more about our galaxy?”

Cornwall Councillor Sue James is leading the partnership bid. She said: “Part of the scheme involves an education outreach programme to encourage businesses and residents to get involved in protecting, improving and appreciating our dark skies. There are simple asks like ensuring lights face downwards and are only on when necessary; it's about influencing rather than enforcement.

“Darker skies help to protect our wildlife, providing them with a more natural environment, are good for humans getting restful sleep and enjoyed by astronomers.”

A drop-in event is being held to find out other people’s views on 17 July at St John’s Hall in Penzance from 4pm to 7pm.

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