Broads Authority backs the Big Dipper campaign

The Broads Authority is backing the ‘Big Dipper’ campaign, aiming to raise public awareness of light pollution and urge people to help conserve our starry dark skies.

Many outside lights, especially LED floodlights and security lights, can be too bright and are installed in such a way that much of the light is directed up into the night sky, contributing to the orangey-white sky glow above our towns and cities, which spreads out into the countryside.

big dipper campaign sky image

With the nights drawing in, the campaign aims to encourage property owners with outside lighting to assess how much lighting they have and to ensure where possible that lamps are dipped downwards. 

The move is backed by Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, who said: 

"It's important that efforts are sustained to cut light pollution further so we can all marvel at the night sky wherever we may live. This campaign deserves wide support."

Whilst the Broads National Park doesn't have any sites with officially designated Dark Skies status, there are a number of great dark areas to watch the stars including Herringfleet, St Benet's Abbey and on the Beccles Marsh Trail. The night skies here are even recognised as excellent by astronomical groups such as Norwich Astronomical Society.

The campaign is asking people to: 

  • Ensure lights point down and are fully shielded.
  • Only illuminate areas you need to and don’t leave lights on all night - use a timer or motion sensor.
  • Employ lighting that is no brighter than necessary.
  • If possible don’t use LEDs emitting bright white/blue light, but rather warmer colours.

For advice on minimising light pollution visit the Commission for Dark Skies website or read the IDA guidance on outdoor lighting.

Further information on light pollution and interactive maps can be found online on the NightBlight website.

Wednesday 3 October 2018