Dark Skies Cumbria

Saving Our Night Skies

Cumbria's dark skies allow us to see the natural wonder of the stars, but are also critical for the health wildlife and our own natural well-being. Sadly light pollution in Cumbria is increasing each year, threatening to obscure our view of the stars and blinding and confusing animals so they can’t feed or find a mate. We need urgent action now to stop light pollution. Stargazers, photographers, wildlife lovers and local communities… please help.


Or you can give by text to 70085. Just message DARKSKIES along with your chosen donation amount (eg DARKSKIES 5 to donate £5). Standard message rates apply.

The Lake District and Cumbria offers some of the most spectacular and precious skyscapes in England and we want you to join us on an interstellar adventure. Download our Dark Sky Discovery Pack and get started today!

Cumbria Good Lighting Technical Advice Note

To conserve and enhance our dark skies and contribute to a net reduction in light pollution across Cumbria, it is vital that we are all informed and empowered to make good lighting choices when planning new development or installing new or replacement lighting.  As part of the Dark Skies Cumbria Project, Friends of the Lake District, together with Dark Source Lighting Design Studio and in conjunction with the relevant local planning authorities, has produced a Good Lighting Technical Advice Note (the TAN) covering Cumbria, the whole Yorkshire Dales National Park and also the Lancashire part of the Arnside & Silverdale National Landscape.

On completion in Summer 2023, the TAN won both Platinum and Green Build Back Better Awards. It has also been shortlisted for a Royal Town Planning Institute award. 

The TAN provides technical lighting guidance to planners, appli­cants, architects, developers, electricians, property owners, communities and lighting professionals to support them in applying relevant local and national planning policies and good lighting principles when submitting or assessing plan­ning applications or other applications (such as Notifications of Intent and Listed Building) and in making good lighting choices when installing new or replacing existing lighting outside of the planning process. 

The guidance covers: 

  • The importance of Dark Skies to Cumbria; 
  • The 8 Good lighting principles; 
  • Positive lighting outcomes delivered through getting lighting right; 
  • Different forms of light pollution and their impacts; 
  • The role of the TAN in the planning process; 
  • The planning and lighting design process; 
  • What good practice looks like through visuals and examples; 
  • Relevant background information in technical appendices, including a Glossary, ‘Understanding Light’ and reference/further reading list.

Supporting Documents:

Technical Advice Note (TAN) - Full Version (Issuu)

Technical Advice Note (TAN) - Summary Version (pdf)

Eight Basic Good Lighting Principles (pdf)

Eight Basic Good Lighting Principles (print friendly pdf)