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Moffat’s light pollution work praised

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By Fiona Reid
Moffat
Moffat’s light pollution work praised

GROWING light pollution in the night sky was highlighted this week by Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell.

He co-sponsored an Early Day Motion from MP Caroline Lucas in the House of Commons highlighting International Dark Sky Week which runs until Saturday.

And Mr Mundell praised the ‘forward-thinking’ community activists, including astronomers, at Moffat, who secured the first Dark Sky Town status in Europe back in 2016.

In Moffat, home to a community observatory, pictured, 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 absense 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.”

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