Dark Skies on Sark
I just noticed that the short news clip about Sark’s dark skies filmed for channelonline.tv is available online.
You can view it on their website or on Youtube:
One of the Channel Islands could soon be recognised as a top spot worldwide to look at the night sky.
Sark is in the process of applying to become the first Dark Skies Island in the world. It will mean the island having a lighting management plan to make sure that nothing too bright is put outside. The UK’s representative for the International Dark Skies Association has been in Sark to assess the sky and the lights on the island.
Steve Owens is from the International Dark Skies Association: “I’ve found as you would expect that the skies here are very dark, there’s very little light pollution comes from Sark itself. The only real problem you have is from other islands like Guernsey, Jersey and in fact the east coast of France that a tiny little glow on your horizon from those places. But to all intents and purposes you’ve got skies darker than ninety nine percent of people in the UK will ever see.”
Jo Birch from La Societe Sercquaise added: “From a tourism point of view it would be lovely for us to be the sort of place that you don’t have to be an astronomer or a star head you just have to enjoy the night sky, that’s one of them. There is really the sort of let’s do our bit for the environment because if you have effective lighting you probably use less of it and then you have to generate less electricity so that’s always a good thing. I think it just raises the profile of this nice place, let’s conserve it and I would say those three together really, that’s what it’s all about.”
The whole community plus the tourism industry has to be behind the application. Hotels can help by keeping lighting low and providing binoculars and astronomy books for guests. It’s believed that just ten lights need to be changed for the island to be dark enough. So they’re hoping to have the accreditation in place in time to take advantage of the long dark nights next winter.