Chichester Harbour Conservancy announces that three new Dark Sky Discovery Sites have been designated in the Harbour. The sites were all identified as excellent places for stargazing due to their impressive levels of darkness, excellent lines of sight and good accessibility year round. Maybush Copse is one of the locations. The others are in West Itchenor, and at Eames Farm on Thorney Island.
The nominations were approved by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. This is despite concern by Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) that other parts of Chichester Harbour had high levels of light pollution for an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Conservancy hopes that by raising awareness of the issue, these levels of ‘night blight’ can be reversed.
Preserving our dark skies has many benefits for us. Dark skies are beneficial to our health and wellbeing. They are also important for education and astronomy, for nocturnal animals, astro-tourism and development management. Chichester Harbour Conservancy will be organising a number of stargazing events in partnership with the South Downs Astronomical Society as part of the activities programme for 2018. You can find out more about Dark Sky Discovery Sites at www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk.