Helping to Keep Bowland in the Dark

26th January 2022

Image by Robert InceStep outside on a clear night in the Forest of Bowland and you're likely to be rewarded with the beauty of a star-filled dark sky – something we're very lucky to have.

The night skies over the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) have been recognised as some of the darkest in England – with several areas being designated as Dark Sky Discovery Sites – and we can all do our bit to help keep them that way.

As part of its Dark Skies Festival, the AONB Partnership is inviting people to join them for The Right Light at Night - a free, online talk to be delivered by Steve Tonkin, Dark Sky Advisor with Cranborne Chase AONB, on the evening of Thursday 17th February.

Light Pollution was first identified as a problem by astronomers, but its consequences reach far wider. Steve's talk will explain how it is now widely recognised that artificial light at night, especially bright white light, can have profoundly negative effects. 

Studies indicate that too much light at night can affect human sleep patterns and potentially lead to more serious health issues. The breeding cycles and feeding habits of many birds and animals can be affected by stray artificial light, and nocturnal insects in particular have been dramatically impacted.

Steve believes that the solutions are at hand, are simple to implement, will have a net saving (of money, energy use and carbon emissions) and will not compromise security. 

We do, of course, need light at night, but the right type and amount of light, in the right places, can help us continue to enjoy the amazing starscapes above Bowland.

Places for The Right Light at Night can be booked through the TryBooking website at  The online link will be then be circulated prior to the event.

Local tourism businesses interested in finding out how to become a Dark Sky Friendly business can contact Forest of Bowland AONB Sustainable Tourism Officer, Hetty Byrne, by emailing

Details of all the Bowland Dark Skies Festival events, including family friendly, Exploring the Universe with Robots and Discovering Bowland's Bats, can be found on the Forest of Bowland AONB website at