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.


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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!

Switching off the lights in Kendal Town Centre - a celebration of Light and Dark

Our Dark Skies Cumbria Project Officer Jack Ellerby spoke about the importance of darkness to our health and well-being, and switching lights off when they are not needed to save electricity costs and reduce carbon emissions, to the 1,000 strong crowd gathered for the Christmas Lights switch on in Kendal last Thursday.

The formal Christmas Lights Switch On was enhanced by the turning off of street lights and most of surrounding business lights in Market Square, creating a lovely ambience and atmosphere. The Christmas lights themselves go off at 11pm overnight when shoppers are not in the town centre to reduce wasting energy.

Huge thanks to the team of people who organised the successful evening, Kendal Town Council, Kendal Mountain Festival, Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Police and the many businesses in the Market Place and Branthwaite Brow who joined in and helped promote the event.

1. Above: Big Switch Off - the street lights and shop lights go off in Market Square for 30 minutes before the Christmas lights switch on, while Jack talks about reducing light pollution.

2. Above: The same scene, Kendal Market Square looking magical with Christmas lights switched on, but no street lights or shop lights. Images: Jonny Gios

Watch Jack's introduction to the event: