Cheshire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Light pollution in Cheshire

Northumberland enjoys the very darkest skies, while light from London, the North West, major roads and stadiums particularly blights our view of the stars Northumberland enjoys the very darkest skies, while light from London, the North West, major roads and stadiums particularly blights our view of the stars Photo: © CPRE National

New study released.

Our county may be home to a cutting-edge radio-astronomical research unit at Jodrell Bank, but if you’re interested to look up and see the stars, you would be well advised to travel out of Cheshire.

New maps released by CPRE show that our county is one of the most light polluted in England. Cheshire comes fourth in the table of most light-polluted counties, following West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Berkshire. The maps were produced using satellite imagery captured at 1.30 am throughout the month of September 2015.

In light of the mapping exercise, CPRE National Office has made the following recommendations:

  • Local authorities develop policies in local plans to control light pollution, which ensure that existing dark skies are protected and that new developments do not increase local light pollution.
  • Highways England use the maps to identify sections of motorways and trunk roads that need urgent attention to reduce light pollution. Any new lighting should be well designed and the minimum required to meet its purpose.
  • Businesses review their current lighting and future development plans to save money by dimming or switching off light to reduce pollution.

CPRE National Office has also produced lesson plans for primary school children which can be downloaded from their website. 

Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, commented:

“It has taken a great deal of dedicated effort to generate these maps. They are fascinating. They tell us where dark skies can be found - and perhaps, by highlighting the regions where light pollution is greatest, will encourage remedial efforts that will not only save energy, but also enable more of us to enjoy a dark sky in the way earlier generations could.”

For more information see CPRE's interactive night blight map.

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Misty sunrise over the Trent and Mersey Canal, Middlewich