Dark Sky Island

 Imagine living in a place where motor vehicles aren’t allowed and the view of the night sky isn’t veiled by light pollution.
  
Sark Island is now one of less than a dozen sites worldwide that have earned the distinction of being an International Dark Sky Community.
  
Sark is the smallest of the four main Channel Islands and is located approximately 80 miles off the south coast of England.
  
Sark Island doesn’t have any street lighting nor motor vehicles except for tractors on the local farms. There’s also a generally low use of residential and commercial electricity; all helping to lend to what is said to be an amazing view of the Milky Way.
  
The recognition was awarded by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Sark’s government has also pledged to ensure any future lighting will conform to IDSCommunity requirements. The commitment doesn’t just mean Sark’s residents will preserve their night sky for future generations, it will likely also boost its appeal to tourists.
 
In this increasingly urbanised world, dark sky tours are gaining popularity. Being able to see the stars is a way for people to connect with the environment, marvel at nature and contemplate our place within it all.
 
Like noise pollution, light pollution is a seriously underrated environmental issue – it’s so much more than just about being able to see the stars.
 
 I often think that if our children could see more of the night sky and taught about its mysteries, the awe it could inspire and the knowledge it is something under threat from modern life may help them in wanting to protect our environment and preserve such simple pleasures as star-gazing.
  
Light pollution isn’t the only threat to a clear view of our night skies – increased dust in the atmosphere may also be taking some of the sparkle from fainter stars.