Dark skies and dark landscapes

Four people stargazing silhouetted against the milky way

Norfolk is one of England’s most rural counties and its dark landscapes and dark skies are a defining part of its rural character, deserving protection. Yet this special quality is under threat. Light pollution is caused by poorly designed or unnecessary light shining wastefully where it is not needed… and it is increasing.

Starry skies are one of the most magical sights the countryside can offer.

Light pollution not only limits our views of these skies, but also disrupts wildlife’s natural patterns. We want to protect our dark skies and dark landscapes.

A series of star count surveys carried out by CPRE, together with the Campaign for Dark Skies has shown that light pollution is spreading across the county and fewer and fewer areas in Norfolk can be considered truly ‘dark’. This increase in light pollution results from an acceleration in the rate of development and a proliferation of security lighting.

Click on the 2019’s Star Count map below to see how light pollution is affecting your area.

View the 2020 Star Count results and interactive map

What CPRE Norfolk is doing

CPRE Norfolk actively campaigns to reduce light pollution in the Norfolk countryside.

We work with planners, councils, architects, Norfolk Constabulary, the Highways Agency, lighting engineers, businesses and householders to ensure they are aware of the problems caused by unnecessary, inappropriate and excessive lighting.

By applying our recommendations, they will know how to address these problems.

The Milky Way over lavender fields

How you can help limit light pollution

1. Only install outdoor lights if really needed.
The best way to prevent light pollution is to avoid the use of any outdoor lights.

2. Use white light low-energy LED lamps.
Avoid orange or pink sodium lights which have an urbanising effect and are less energy efficient.

3. Ensure all outdoor lights are fully shielded* and directed downwards.
(*enclosed in ‘full cut-off flat glass’ fitments so that no glass is visible beneath the lamp’s cover)

4. Only switch on outdoor lights when absolutely necessary.
Avoid ‘dusk to dawn’ lamps and use ‘PIR’ movement sensor lights or time switches instead.

Download the guide
A footpath alongside a hedgerow and farmland in the Norfolk countryside