Dark skies mean perfect place for glimpse of stars
Ashford named as one of the best for avoiding light pollution
email@example.com Local stargazers will be pleased to hear that Ashford has the darkest skies in Kent.
The news comes as the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) released detailed maps, which show the location of light hotspots around the country.
The area was ranks 68th out of 326 districts across the country – which will come as good news to Ashford Borough Council who adopted a specific Dark Skies Policy in 2015 to create awareness about light pollution and to raise the profile of dark skies as an environmental asset.
But Kent as a whole fares less well as only the 29th darkest – or 12th lightest – county of the 41 in England.
The CPRE research aims to increase awareness of the harmful effects light pollution can have on the health of people and wildlife.
Hilary Newport, director of CPRE Kent said: “Our view of the stars is obscured by artificial light. It is known that dark skies are beneficial to our wellbeing.
“Light pollution can disturb our sleep, prevent our enjoyment of the countryside and affect wildlife, by interrupting natural rhythms including migration, reproduction and feeding.”
Now the group is calling on Kent’s local authorities to use these maps to identify areas with severe light pollution and take action to reduce it, as well as identifying existing dark skies that need protecting.
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford TN24 8JR or email firstname.lastname@example.org Thanet Earth, pictured above, is the second worst light polluter in the country.
The UK’s largest greenhouse complex - based in Thanet - pushes out more light pollution than almost anywhere else in England, it’s been revealed.
Only the giant Tata Steel complex in Rotherham causes more light pollution than Thanet Earth - the 220-acre food factory in Birchington.
A satellite captured visible and infrared imagery to determine the levels of light emanating into British skies.
It revealed Thanet Earth’s maximum brightness is brighter than anywhere else in the south east, including London.
Thanet as a whole is 241st in the rankings, with 34% of its skies in the lightest categories.
Meanwhile Dartford has Kent’s lightest skies, ranked 260th out of all the 326 districts in England.
That is mostly caused by the area’s major transport networks, including the Dartford Crossing.
Ashford is a good place for stargazing