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Let’s rewild the Sussex night sky – sign up for Star Count by 26 February

22nd February 2023

Take part in Star Count until February 24 to become a ‘cosmic citizen scientist’ and help measure the impact of light on our views of the galaxy.

There are just a few nights left to take part in the annual Star Count event.

Star Count, organised by the national CPRE charity, runs until Sunday 26 February and helps to measure the effect light is having on our views of the galaxy.

“Dark and starry skies are a sight to behold but our buildings and roads can emit light, affecting our views and causing problems for wildlife,” said CPRE Sussex director Brian Kilkelly.

“We want to monitor how much light is obscuring our views of the night sky so we can better mitigate its effects on nature. That is why we are encouraging everyone in Sussex to become a cosmic citizen scientist for the night.”

Artificial light pollution is one of the biggest threats to nocturnal creatures, many of which have suffered sharp population declines.

Artist and campaigner Steve Geliot from Brighton said: “Light pollution and satellite swarms have become a suffocating lid placed over the entire ecosystem. We need to remove the lid and let the stars back in.”

As the rewilding movement gathers pace, landowners, farmers and the government are being encouraged to remember the night sky is an intrinsic part of nature – and vital for the health of people and wildlife.

Environmentalist and broadcaster Chris Packham is supporting this year’s Star Count.

“We have many grave concerns about things which are impacting negatively upon our wildlife and they all urgently need addressing,” he said.

“One which is unfortunately relatively frequently overlooked is light pollution. Light pollution can be a real nuisance. It can interrupt animals’ behaviour and drastically disrupt their ecology, particularly nocturnal species like bats and moths.”

How to join Star Count:

You do not need any special equipment and it only takes 20 minutes. All you have to do is register via CPRE’s website here.

There is even a Star Count activity pack for children aged five and up which can be downloaded here.