Devon Dark Skies

Devon Dark Skies Week

22–30 October 2021

Join us in October half-term week to celebrate the dark skies of Devon.

Experience the magic of Devon’s dark skies, learn more about our nocturnal species and discover what you can do to reduce light pollution. Let’s help keep Devon’s night skies special.

Follow us on social media to find events and information during Devon Dark Skies Week, and check out our Dark Skies Week webinars below.

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Online talks for Devon Dark Skies Week

Join us for these free online talks during Devon Dark Skies Week:

a white moth on a wooden structure

An introduction to moths and their declines webinar

Speaker: Richard Fox, Butterfly Conservation

Richard’s talk provided us with a basic introduction to moths and their importance within their ecosystems as well as a brief overview of the causes of their declines in Britain and provided an insight into the ways in which moths are affected by streetlighting. He also shared with us the results of a recently published paper that he was involved in the research for. 

 

light pollution

The importance of the night sky and getting lighting right

Speakers: Bob Mizon MBE (UK Commission for Dark Skies) and Ivan Buxton (Devon Campaign to Protect Rural England).

Bob’s talk focussed on the night sky and the benefits of getting lighting right, highlighting the negative effects that overuse and ineffective lighting can have on our nocturnal wildlife. Ivan’s talk focussed on the effects of night lighting and what we can do as individuals and communities to reduce the negative effects our lighting might have, both on us, and wildlife.


What can we do to reduce adverse impacts of artificial lighting?

  • Avoid using lighting! Artificial light is hugely beneficial in some situations. However, we should always think twice as to whether it is essential.
  • Reduce light spill. Design lighting to minimise light spill into areas where it isn’t required for example, through the design of the light fitting, use of walls / fences / dense vegetation to block light, or shutting curtains at night.
  • Ensure that lights are only on when required. Use motion sensors, timers for street lighting or just switch off lights that aren’t needed.
  • Reduce brightness. Lighting should only be bright enough to fulfil its function. Reduce brightness through choosing blubs with lower lumens. If you are trying to keep an area dark for wildlife such as a dark corridor the light levels entering the habitat should not be greater than the normal night light levels or 0.4 lux vertically and 0.2 lux horizontally.
  • Use warm lighting. Where possible use warm LED lighting of 2700K or less to reduce the blue/UV component. Warmer light reduces impacts on wildlife, human health and sky glow.

We love Devon’s dark skies!

Watching a magical moon rise over the sea, gazing up at the stars and the Milky Way, catching a glimpse of a barn owl in the cool moonlight… There are so many ways we can enjoy our night skies away from the dazzle and distraction of artificial lighting.

It’s no wonder that the dark star-lit skies of Devon are so popular with residents and tourists alike.

Our wildlife needs darkness at night too. Light pollution can interrupt natural rhythms, including migration, reproduction and feeding patterns.

Whilst some lighting at night is important for our safety, unnecessary artificial light spilling into the night sky is waste of money and energy, increasing our carbon emissions which in turn has a negative impact on our environment.

We are proud that Devon has the fourth darkest night skies in the country, with low levels of light pollution. (See CPRE’s Night Blight study)

Let’s do what we can to preserve Devon’s dark skies to benefit wildlife, tourism, and our own wellbeing.


Dark skies activities and resources