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Children Reach for the Stars

27th February 2024

Children and teenagers from Brownies and Guides learned all about the wonders of the night sky at a free stargazing event in February organised by CPRE Staffordshire.

Thanks to generous funding from the Cannock Chase National Landscape Partnership, 60 Brownies and Guides had the chance to look through a high-powered telescope at Beaudesert Outdoor Activity Centre on Cannock Chase. As well as providing great views of the night sky,  professional astronomers from Keele University’s Observatory explained why it’s important to reduce light pollution.

Cannock Chase is a nationally and internationally important landscape, and its relative wildness and tranquillity lies at the heart of its natural beauty. Darkness at night is an integral part of a landscape, which adds to its beauty and sense of remoteness. As a very small National Landscape, sitting between the towns of Stafford, Rugeley, Cannock and Burntwood, our relatively dark skies are significantly affected by light spilling in from the surrounding towns.

A starry night sky and the wonder of the Milky Way is one of the most magical sights the countryside can offer, connecting people to an important part of our natural heritage. Sadly, many people don’t get to experience this beauty due to light pollution. As well as reducing our ability to see the stars, light pollution has serious impacts for wildlife. Dark night skies are definitely outstanding, natural and beautiful, and should be conserved and enhanced along with the rest of the National Landscape.

To help to achieve this, a new Good Lighting Guide demonstrates how simple changes by the way we light our homes, businesses and neighbourhoods can have big impacts. It provides information and advice to individuals, businesses and decision makers interested in reducing and avoiding light pollution so that we keep Cannock Chase special.

Three people with a telescope