Buriton’s Dark Night Skies praised again

South Downs National Park highlights achievements in the village

Hot on the heels of the BBC World Service programme featuring Buriton’s dark night skies (see here), the South Downs National Park Authority has published a ‘case study’ report about the community’s initiative (see pdf document at the foot of  this page).

This has been published as an example for other communities to follow and it is a useful achievement for our work to have been singled out in this way.

The document explains that Buriton is the home of one of only 12 designated Dark Sky Discovery Sites in the whole of the National Park.

It also notes that although we are in the core area of the International Dark Sky Reserve, we form “a narrow pinch-point” meaning that any deterioration in the quality of night-time darkness here could threaten the international status of the entire Reserve.

The Parish Council is hoping that this focus can also help encourage everyone (including the planning authority) to help keep the local Dark Night Skies by minimising light pollution from external lighting etc.

Thanks are passed to everyone who ensures that lights use lower wattage bulbs, only shine ‘where’ needed (downwards and shielded from neighbours) and only shine ‘when’ needed (using timers or proximity sensors). 

A number of benefits of dark night skies are mentioned in the report, including conditions for wildlife and opportunities for both the village pubs: Dark Skies Tourism opportunities for overnight stays (extending the traditional visitor season) and extra visitors for drinks or meals before or after star-gazing activities.

It is understood that the National Park Authority will be holding its annual Dark Skies Festival again, around the half-term holidays in February 2022, with a mixture of on-line and in-person events.

A video highlighting Buriton’s Dark Skies Discovery Site is due to be shown during the Festival and one of the two main events in the whole of the National Park is due to be held in the parish – at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park.

This isn’t the first time that work in Buriton has been highlighted by the National Park Authority as an example for other communities to follow. Our traffic project of about 2009 was the feature of one of the first Case Studies produced and can be found here.