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Organisations & initiatives

North Norfolk Astronomy Society

The Norfolk Coast Partnership works closely with the North Norfolk Astronomy Society (NNAS), an active group of astronomers who meet regularly on the coast, give talks and conduct surveys to measure the quality of the area's night skies. Some members have their own telescopes, although the society has its own equipment and have the use of their own observatory at Wiveton containing a 12inch Calver Newtonian reflector telescope.

During 2010 NCP gave the group a Sustainable Development Fund grant to survey the coast to identify the best dark sky spots and key sources of light pollution.  The group hopes to repeat this survey during the winter 2016-17 to see how the situation may have changed.

CPRE - Norfolk

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Norfolk work with a number of organisations to actively reduce light pollution in the Norfolk countryside.  They recommend a number of ways in which excessive lighting can be avoided and appropriate measures put in place.

In July 2015 CPRE Norfolk held an inspiring light pollution conference at the University of East Anglia which included a keynote speech by Bob Mizon from the British Astronomical Association, CPRE, Norfolk County Council and a parish council.  The main theme of the day was 'Light pollution - a problem which can be solved' which served to set a positive tone and suggest with relatively simple measures in place, situations can be improved.

CPRE Norfolk also work with parish councils and planning authorities to improve policies for planning applications and provide guidance on ways in which local communities and individuals can contribute to reducing light pollution. See the Do your bit for dark skies page for more information.

British Astronomical Association - Campaign for Dark Skies

The British Astronomical Association's Campaign for Dark Skies (CfDS), aims to preserve and restore the beauty of the night sky by campaigning against excessive, inefficient and irresponsible lighting that shines where it is not wanted nor needed.

They have produced a range of guidelines, information and advice which can used individually, as a group or as a community to help raise the awareness of light pollution and ultimately reduce its detrimental impact on the local area.

International Dark Sky Association

The mission of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is to preserve and protect the night time environment and the heritage of dark skies through environmentally responsible outdoor lighting.

Galloway Forest Park achieved the UK's first Dark Sky Park award from the IDA in 2009. This was for its exceptional and distinguished quality of the night sky and a nocturnal environment that is specifically protected for its scientific, natural, educational, cultural heritage, and public enjoyment.

Northumberland was awarded Gold Tier 'Dark Sky Park' status to the combined areas of Northumberland National Park, Kielder Water & Forest Park. Covering nearly 1,500 square kilometres this is Europe's largest area of protected night sky.

Additionally, the Brecon Beacons & Exmoor National Parks have achieved the UK's only Dark Sky Reserves status. This was for their work in forming partnerships that recognised the value of the night sky through regulation and/or formal agreement and long term planning. This program is the epitome of IDA's mission. Working to preserve a central core that is valuable because of its natural night, communities band together to create public awareness campaigns to restore the natural night sky.

Communities can also obtain a Dark Sky Community award in its efforts to achieve a community-wide lighting code, promote responsible lighting, dark sky stewardship, and acting as an example to surrounding communities on the possibilities available with the proper lighting.

CPRE - National

CPRE believe that darkness is a key characteristic which distinguishes rural areas from urban areas. They express concern that inappropriate lighting through security lights, flood lights or street lights "break into the darkness and create a veil of light across the night sky".  This results in reduced opportunities to see the stars, disrupted sleep by people, behavioural changes in wildlife and ultimately a lot of wasted energy and money.

CPRE campaign for increased efforts by the authorities to monitor changes in light pollution and improve their policies so dark areas can be protected and the impacts of lighting reduced; and encourage individual householders to do their bit on their property, particularly in rural areas.