Devon Dark Skies Week

    Natural Devon is holding a week of webinars and workshops to encourage appreciation and grow understanding of the importance of dark skies in Devon.

    Natural Devon (the Devon Local Nature Partnership) is holding a week of webinars and activities to help people appreciate the beauty and importance of darkness and understand what can be done to reduce light pollution.

    Devon is a rural county and yet due to light pollution we can only experience truly dark skies across 36 per cent of the county. With increasing development, light pollution and associated carbon emissions, this will only get worse unless we all take action.

    Devon Dark Skies Week begins on Friday 23 October 2020 with a Virtual Planetarium Tour of the Night Sky led by the East Devon Norman Lockyer Observatory. Other webinars include: How to be a Dark Skies RangerWildlife and Lighting, an Introduction to AstrophotographyWhat is Lighting? and The Future for Dark Skies. Tiffany Francis-Baker, author of Dark Skies, will be running a webinar on exploring, and bring inspired by, landscapes at night. All webinars are aimed at an audience with no existing knowledge and most will include ideas for things that we can do to reduce light pollution.

    Fun activities and resources (including start spotting sheets and details of how to make your own telescope) can be found on the Local Nature Partnership website, including details of a Devon Dark Skies competition with great prizes.

    The website also includes information about communities and organisations already taking action to reduce light pollution. For instance, Devon County Council is reducing the environmental impacts of Street Lamps through part-time night lighting in residential areas, dimming lights on the majority of main roads, switching to LEDs with reduced ultra violet (better for wildlife) and piloting the use of warmer lights around bat roosts. Buckfastleigh Town Council is also looking at how to reduce the impacts of lighting on greater horseshoe bats.