Local Group Events 2020

This February, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) Gloucestershire, invites everyone to join in with the UK wide CPRE Star Count 2020, a fun and easy way to enjoy the wonders of the universe. By simply counting the number of stars they can see in the Orion constellation between 21 and 28 February, those taking part across the UK will help map the best and worst places to see the awesome sight of a star-filled night sky.

Throughout history people have gazed up at the magical starry night sky in wonder, and used the cosmos to navigate. Looking at the stars we get a feeling of tranquillity rarely experienced in today’s frantic lives. Seeing dark skies full of stars is something we associate with the countryside, and part of reconnecting with the natural world. However, places to view these spellbinding sights are becoming harder to find, even in the countryside.

Last year’s Star Count results showed that light pollution, often caused by the glow and glare from street and outdoor household and sports lighting, is making beautiful starry skies a rare sight for many of us. Just 2% of people who took part in Star Count 2019 told us they were viewing a truly dark sky.

To take part, star count-ers are asked to choose a clear night between Friday 21 and Friday 28 February. During this time the moon is less bright, making it easier to carry out a cosmic census, although CPRE will accept results from any nights in the second half of February. Without using a telescope of binoculars, people can then count the stars within the rectangle shape formed by Orion, except the four stars on the outer corners, then submit their results at cpre.org.uk/starcount