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Lottery cash to tackle light pollution in rural Norfolk

06:00 07 October 2014

Light pollution will be tackled in rural areas of Norfolk.  For: EDP News Eastern Daily Press © 2008  (01603) 772434

Light pollution will be tackled in rural areas of Norfolk. For: EDP News Eastern Daily Press © 2008 (01603) 772434

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2008

A countryside charity promoting tranquillity in rural areas has been awarded a £9,788 grant to tackle light pollution in Norfolk.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Norfolk has been given the cash from the National Lottery Awards as part of a year-long project of research, guidance and a major conference in Norwich.

Norfolk is the second darkest county in England and the work of a project entitled Light Pollution – A Problem That Can Be Solved aims to tackle the issues which threaten that credential.

David Hook, CPRE Norfolk’s light pollution co-ordinator said: “Our dark skies are prized by astronomers and those who value rural tranquillity, but light pollution is an increasing problem, both in towns and in the countryside.

He said the problem is down to increased urbanisation, so-called “misplaced fears over public safety and security” through the installation of out-of-date and unnecessary lighting fixtures and an overall lack of awareness of the negative impact of light pollution.

Mr Hook added: “Through this project we will be able to demonstrate that this is a problem that can be solved without any negative consequences; it is simply a case of property owners and public bodies installing appropriate lighting where it is needed, and appreciating that sometimes no artificial exterior lighting is needed at all.”

The research will aim to establish the attitudes to, and extent of, light pollution in Norfolk villages and will also promote a recommended Light Pollution Clause which it encourages planning authorities to include in any permitted developments.

An updated light pollution guidance leaflet will be created to give the latest information on recommended lighting specifications and advice on other ways to minimise light pollution.

And the conference will consider aspects of light pollution such as the importance of dark skies and dark landscapes in the countryside, the facts and myths of lighting, security and safety and provide examples of good practice from parish councils, district councils, county councils, highways agencies and business.

To get involved in the project or for more information contact CPRE Norfolk at info@cprenorfolk.org.uk or telephone 01603 761660.

Do you have a story about an issue affecting rural areas? Email the EDP’s agricultural, food and farming editor on chris.hill@archant.co.uk

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