Campaign looks to keep Dedham Vale in the dark (in the best possible way)


To read this leaflet (there are two sides), click the link at the end of this story

The Dedham Vale National Landscape on the Essex-Suffolk is renowned for its beauty, but it’s a beauty that lasts into the night courtesy of the area’s dark skies.
And now a campaign has been launched to ensure those dark skies – so gloriously free of light pollution – are protected and indeed enhanced.
The Dedham Vale Dark Skies Campaign has been set up in a bid to win recognition from DarkSky International in two categories: Night Sky Place and Night Sky Community.
To make that happen, campaigners are asking local people and businesses to help by reducing light pollution from their properties and activities, while local town and village councils are being encouraged to draft Neighbourhood Plans that include specific lighting requirements specified by planners and that developers must meet.
The campaign is “celebrating and rewarding those within the Dedham Vale community who are joining us in protecting the skies over Dedham Vale from light pollution”. Locals are asked: “Will you be a Dark Sky Hero?”
The National Trust is supporting the campaign, saying: “‘Dark skies are an often-overlooked part of our natural world. The night sky has inspired science, religion, philosophy, art and literature that has created our heritage today.
“The Dedham Vale, considering its proximity to London, boasts incredible dark skies. The incredible night sky of the Dedham Vale enables us to feel truly at one with our landscape and observe the same sky that has looked over us for our entire history. Artists such as Constable and Gainsborough and all our ancestors before them would have looked up to the same stars that we do.
“As well as reducing climate emissions, reducing light pollution reduces disruption to our natural environment. Nocturnal animal behaviours, blossoming of flowers, migration patterns, wake-sleep habits of wildlife and habitat formation, such as bat roosting sites, are all adversely impacted by artificial light. Large numbers of insects, a primary food source for birds and other animals, are drawn to artificial lights are harmed upon contact with its sources.”
As if any more reason were needed…