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Enjoy the wonder of starry skies

23rd January 2024

Since the dawn of time humans have marvelled at the sight of star-studded skies. We’re fortunate in Sussex because the South Downs is not only one of the darkest areas of England offering superb views of the galaxy on a clear night, but is one of only 21 international dark sky reserves.

Don’t miss the South Downs Dark Skies Festival running from 10-18 February. Exciting events include a ‘Walk the Planets’ trail, stargazing, storytelling and nocturnal wildlife encounters and Star Parties.

See programme of events and how to book

Find the best places to stargaze 

Download a Dark Skies Discovery Pack

Although we do enjoy areas of dark sky in Sussex, there is the growing threat of light pollution making dark skies for star gazing increasingly difficult to find. As well as disrupting people’s sleep, lighting also disrupts the sleeping, roosting and foraging patterns of many species of birds and bats. Light pollution is now recognised as a key driver in the huge losses in insect populations. About 60% of our insects are nocturnal and an estimated third have increased risks of dying because of light pollution. The insects are attracted to artificial lights and flutter around them, becoming easy prey or dying from exhaustion. Burning energy for unnecessary light also increases levels of carbon dioxide which in turn boosts climate change.

In Brighton, the powerful lights of the Amex Stadium illuminate the night sky causing severe  light pollution harming wildlife; obscuring the stars for hundreds of thousands of people; and affecting their wellbeing.

Encourage Brighton & Hove Albion to take action, by signing the Put that Light Out petition