Dark skies are not just important for stargazers and astronomers, but also for healthy wildlife populations. Around 60% of animals are nocturnal – following the light of the moon and stars - so light pollution can disrupt their sleeping, feeding and breeding behaviour. A significant amount of insect pollination takes place during the hours of darkness and research has shown how artificial light prevents this essential function.

An estimated 85% (possibly higher) of the UK population has never seen the Milky Way due to the rapid rise of light pollution over the last 50 years. Globally, coverage of the earth’s surface in light pollution has been rising at a staggering rate of 2% every year for the last 4 years. (Watch our outdoor lighting slideshow for easy tips for saving our dark skies.)

Dark skies are integral to the tranquillity and people’s enjoyment  of the many great landscapes of the Lake District and across Cumbria. Seeing a star lit night sky is uplifting and inspiring, and has a lasting impact on positive memorable experiences. Appreciation is growing of these values and the many visitors to Cumbria seek places of peace and quiet, as a contrast to their busy home environments.