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About Starlit Skies for Bath and Surrounds – Starlit Skies

About Starlit Skies for Bath and Surrounds

Artificial light has brought many benefits to us all, but unless properly directed can also lead to significant harms. Human sleep can be disturbed by too much light at night; at its worst, this can lead to serious health issues. Many birds and animals are affected by stray light at night, impacting on their breeding cycles and feeding habits. Excessive lighting wastes money and adds to our carbon footprint. Too few of us can enjoy the beauty of a night sky full of stars from anywhere near our homes.

Nationally there is increasing awareness of the importance of these issues, with dark sky reserves and discovery sites being created. But Bath and its environs needs a different approach. Central Bath has the lighting that goes with a busy night-time economy and dense urban population. Some of its rural surroundings also have increasing amounts of commercial and domestic lighting. BathNES Council has a programme of streetlight modernisation intended to improve efficiency, reduce light pollution, and to provide flexibility so lighting levels can be adjusted by need. LED technology and infra-red sensors offers benefits, but can also lead to new harms, and are also being used increasingly in previously dark rural environments.

The Starlit Skies Alliance has set the goal to improve the situation in Bath and surrounding areas and work to ensure future developments are well advised. Where good practice, design or products exist, the Alliance shall promote this and where there is an opportunity to improve the current situation it wishes to inspire change.