Stars over Sussex brighter during Lockdown

12th April 2021

The results of a Sussex-wide Star Count during the winter Lockdown show a marked improvement in the quality of our night skies.

New figures, released by the Countryside Charity CPRE, show a 5% drop in severe light pollution and a 4% improvement in the quality of Sussex’s darkest skies.

The annual Star Count was carried out by householders across Sussex in the middle of Lockdown in early February. Participants were asked to count the number of stars they could see in the constellation of Orion.

“The results show improvements in the quality of our dark skies in both urban and rural areas,” says CPRE Sussex Director, Kia Trainor. “We believe the this is likely to be caused by a ‘lockdown effect’ due to fewer large buildings in operation, fewer airplanes and quieter streets.”

“Dark starry skies are not only beautiful to look at, they are also important to our health and wellbeing, and to maintaining the natural rhythms of nature such as migration.”

The results of this year’s Star Count show that 14% of those taking part had good quality dark skies, enabling them to see more than 20 stars in Orion. This compares to just 10% last year.

There was also an improvement in Sussex’s most light polluted areas with a drop in number of people who could see less than 10 stars. Last year 53% of participants were struggling to see the stars but during the February Lockdown, this dropped to 48% which is an improvement of 5%.

CPRE has published an interactive map showing Lockdown Star Count results across the country:

 

 

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The legacy of Ethel’s vision and determination lives on thanks to the continued efforts of the Friends of the Peak District, and she remains an inspiration to everyone within CPRE