High Weald

When did you last see the stars against a dark sky?sky milkyway

Even in the depths of the countryside, truly dark starry nights are becoming harder and harder to find. Security lights, floodlights and streetlights all break into the darkness, lighting up the surrounding area. Some of this light is necessary, in order to keep people safe on our streets – but much of it is wasting energy and increasing air pollution.

Light Pollution can disrupt wildlife by interferring with their natural behavioural cycle, which is determined by the length of nighttime.  There is also has an impact on human health such as sleep disorders, visual impairment and disrupting our natural body rhythms.

The problem is getting worse. In less than a decade, between 1993 and 2000, light pollution across England increased by around a quarter (24%). The amount of truly dark sky dropped too, from a sixth of the country to just over a tenth (11%).

What can your school do to help?

We would like to find out the extent of light pollution in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we need help from local schools and communities to do this.

We have two activities that the children can do, one using the children's eyesight, and one using a special light sensor meter, which you can borrow from the High Weald AONB Unit, please contact Sam Nicholas E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

pdf Activity 1 - Counting the stars with your eyes (190 KB)
pdf Activity 2 - Measure light pollution using technology (204 KB)
pdf Dark Skies Teaching Guidance (238 KB)

The following activities allow your children to record how dark their skies are.  Then all you need to do is to send in your results to High Weald AONB Unit by E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or post to using the following forms:

pdf Class recording form (147 KB)
pdf Homework recording form (113 KB)
pdf SQM recording form (114 KB)

When can you use these activities?

The Dark Skies activity cards can be used for the following subjects in KS2.  Included below are some useful links to materials which can support lesson planning.