‘Starry skies could disappear in 100 years’ - exclusive North Yorkshire film screenings to warn

Saving the Dark, a documentary produced in the US, will be screened in public in the UK for the first time at the Dark Skies Festival in North Yorkshire next month. Picture by Steve Bell.
Saving the Dark, a documentary produced in the US, will be screened in public in the UK for the first time at the Dark Skies Festival in North Yorkshire next month. Picture by Steve Bell.
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The first public UK screenings of a thought-provoking documentary about the impact of light pollution on people, wildlife and the environment will be part of Yorkshire’s largest dark skies celebration next month, organisers have revealed.

Entitled Saving the Dark and first shown in the US last year, the film is backed by the International Dark Sky Association. It will be shown at five exclusive screenings in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors during the Dark Skies Festival.

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The documentary highlights how excessive and improper lighting robs people of dark night skies, disrupts sleep patterns and endangers nocturnal habitats.

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Directed by California-based Sriram Murali, the film explains that 80 per cent of European and North American populations can no longer observe the Milky Way, yet up until 200 years ago every generation of humanity saw a star filled sky every night.

Viewers are told that light pollution is “relatively easy to solve” but failure to act could mean starry skies are blocked out entirely in 100 years’ time.

As reported in The Yorkshire Post, national park authorities in North Yorkshire have urged local people to help protect dark skies - which are fuelling a growing astro-tourism market - including through better use of outdoor lighting.

The Dark Skies Festival runs from February 15 to March 3 in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, as well as the Howardian Hills and Nidderdale areas of outstanding natural beauty.

For more information, visit www.darkskiesnationalparks.org.uk