How to keep our wonderful dark night skies
What does Buriton have in common with Salt Lake City, Hong Kong, the Atacama Desert in Chile and the Kalahari Desert?
Answer: they were all included in a radio programme on the World Service in September 2021 about light pollution and how it can and should be tackled.
Whilst there was reference to some fantastic dark skies in very remote parts of the world, the place that they chose to focus on to show how communities can improve the quality of starry night skies was the South Downs International Dark Skies Reserve.
And, within that, the one place that they chose to highlight good work undertaken locally was Buriton.
The short programme is available here with the bits about Buriton beginning at about 13 minutes.
The programme confirms that people should ensure that external lights (1) use lower wattage bulbs; (2) only shine ‘where’ needed (downwards and shielded from neighbours) and (3) only shine ‘when’ needed (using timers or proximity sensors) so as to help residents and wildlife.
The latter part of the programme deals with effects of light pollution on nature (with research from Germany) but Buriton is also referenced in this section at about 24 minutes.
This fits well with the community’s current pollinator project as it shows that our work here helps preserve both the dark skies but also insects that are vital to our food supplies etc.