DESPITE greater awareness of light pollution in the night sky the worldwide problem is deepening.
Experts estimate an up to 10 per-cent global increase annually is having a negative impact on biodiversity, human health and limiting efforts to control energy use.
These points were highlighted this week by Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell, who co-sponsored an Early Day Motion from Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas in the House of Commons highlighting International Dark Sky Week which runs until Saturday.
Mr Mundell praised the ‘forward - thinking’ community activists, including astronomers, at Moffat in his constituency, who secured the first Dark Sky Town status in Europe back in 2016.
Largely through the efforts of organisations like the International Dark Sky Association, awareness of light pollution worldwide and the case for curtailing the upward trend, have since become more widely appreciated.
In Moffat, home to a community observatory and astronomy club, and further west in Galloway Forest, a designated International Dark Sky Park, there has been a steady stream of visitors specifically attracted by the absence of light pollution.
Mr Mundell said: “The pioneering Dark Sky Status secured for Moffat was an undoubted success and has benefitted Upper Annandale, both environmentally and economically.
“The town’s geography, enthusiasm to reduce the wrong type of light and a range of other environmentally - friendly measures have been a success and a model for other communities.
“It can be as straight-forward in many cases as ensuring replacement outdoor lights face away from the sky, are low energy and in some cases, where appropriate, can be switched off through motion sensors when not needed.”
Mr Mundell added: “Anyone looking at the night satellite photographs of the UK and Europe can see that my constituency and the wider region are amongst the darkest areas. That is a genuine asset but something we can build on further.”