20th September 2017 Conference

Our objective for the conference was to announce the alliance of wildlife and stargazing groups seeking progress in safeguarding and recovering the natural night sky for Bath and the surrounding countryside. We wish to celebrate the wonder of a starlit night sky, build awareness of wildlife and health issues, share best practice, and encourage creative collaborations and innovations to achieve improvement

The Conference was held at BRLSI, 16 Queen Square, Bath at 19:30 on Wednesday 20th September 2017.

Outcomes were an agreement to collectively move forward with a plethora of ideas and review in January 2018 to establish how those ideas were being translated into actions.

The outcomes were captured and forwarded to delegates:


Action Summary Table Group Coord Link*
1 Influence adults / communities through schools/children. Roadshow to schools a mobile planetarium to set up in the school. (Note: CPRE mentioned that they have on their website some teaching plans that can be downloaded.) 3 Simon
2 Influence by picking up the health issues as part of Health and Safety compliance. Possibly lobby HSE to include in existing checklists. Health effects on humans and unsafe if lighting glare dazzles etc – i.e. do not over light. 1,3 Penny
3 National Trust to be lobbied to present their buildings in the appropriate night sky setting (- i.e. that was prevalent around the building when first built (and to promote health and wellbeing. 1 Charles
4 Bath Preservation Trust – aid public awareness. 5 Charles
5 Astronomers groups to improve networking between each other not least to present a common lobbying position. 5 Simon
6 Universities to be encouraged to carry out research on this subject and engage students partly to influence their own building management teams. 1,5 Penny
7 High profile public figures (Dyson etc )to be engaged to assist build awareness. 5 Penny
8 Press release for this and other related events in future 5
9 Saving money – lobby schools and universities on potential cost savings and benefits (and other building owners?). Identify light pollution as waste. 1,5 Charles
10 Wildlife Groups and Astronomers groups to provide combined public awareness raising events such as: Wildlife species that are active in the night-time Owl Prowl etc ( stargazing events at https://starlitskies.org.uk/looking-up/) Also to reduce fear of the dark 1,4,5 Simon
11 Lobby councillors on LEDs – they are with us to stay but use versions with reduced light and ensure they get turned off and/or reduced in light impact as early as possible each evening. 1 Charles
12 A coherent guide at national level that gives best practice guidance and a checklist to councils and planners that can be referenced by developers etc. It should reference all the key danger areas – Wildlife, human health, security, safety due to dazzling drivers with glare etc. (Pre-existing meeting is already arranged between high level DEFRA officials and CFDS) Tom
13 A standard light pollution checklist to apply standard national policy to all planning applications. 4
14 A free online cpd film for Architects, developers, building managers, and used also as tool to brief clients, building managers etc. Should be available on line and covering all the key issues. (See exemplars for other subjects like safety and low carbon here http:// www.constructingexcellencesw.org.uk/videos/ ) Tom
15 The Commission for Dark Skies should extend their award system to include a joint RIBA / CDS annual Architect’s award/prize for protecting starlit skies. Tom
16 Lobby for introduction onto the Health and Wellbeing agenda for education and research. (see: http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/ programmes/mres-heal-and-well/) 3 Penny
17 Define light pollution as waste alongside other waste issues. – i.e. waste of energy whilst adding to carbon emissions and lobby to ensure its inclusion in this agenda. 4
18 A working Dark skies group for Bath and surrounds. – a local award scheme ‘The Right Light’ award for exemplars of good practice. Initial spread of information through leaflets and social media. Link to the existing Bathscape project. (Andrew Sharland of the Bathscape project present at this meeting) Focus on Bath Rec and other Bath buildings. 1,2 Charles
19 Share / compare our outcomes with Europe wide conference being held at the same time in Scotland. Tom
20 Lobby Press and public through fairs, stalls, leaflets, social media. 1