It has proved a success in Northumberland, and now the county is doing its bit to support a nationwide campaign to conserve dark skies.

Northumberland National Park Authority (NNPA) is throwing its weight behind Dark Sky Alliance’s ‘Big Dipper’ campaign aimed at raising awareness of light pollution.

The campaign aims to encourage property owners with outside lighting to asses how much lighting they are using and to ensure, where possible, that lamps are dipped downwards.

NNPA is supporting the campaign after it was hailed one of the best places in England to enjoy the beauty of the night sky. when it was designated the gold tier International Dark Sky status in 2013.

“We are incredibly proud of our dark skies,” said Duncan Wise, visitor development and marketing manager at NNPA. “The Big Dipper campaign aims to celebrate our pristine skies by raising their profile and making people aware of the part they can play, no matter how small, to help conserve them.

“In recent years, there has been a significant increase the use of LED flood lighting being installed on the sides of houses, barns and industrial buildings, right across the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, as well as in other rural areas.”

NNPA is offering free grants to landowners in the county to help reduce their light pollution.