Celebrating 20 years delivering clear, impartial and accurate advice on environmental planning for land use and development.
Thursday 15th March 2018
Spalding Associates have long been interested in the effect of light pollution on nocturnal landscapes and came up with the idea of a conference on this subject. We were very pleased that Professor Kevin Gaston (University of Exeter and Co-Chair Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Nature Partnership) was keen to be involved, as was Rachael Bice, Head of Environmental Growth and Partnerships at Cornwall Council. A small steering group was set up to organise the event, consisting of Adrian Spalding and Kevin Gaston, plus Philippa Hoskin and Richard Haycock of Cornwall Council. Spalding Associates sponsored the event, and we also obtained sponsorship from the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). Amy Horn-Norris did much of the organising for Spalding Associates.
Simon Barnard, Katherine Biggs and Amy Horn-Norris of Spalding Associates presented the following posters:
We had a very full day. Delegates were welcomed by Catriona Neil of Spalding Associates and we were very pleased that Cllr Sue James, Cornwall Council and Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Local Nature
Partnership, introduced the event to the 135 attendees.
Kevin Gaston opened the presentations with an overview of the effect of light pollution on people and wildlife, entitled Losing the Night. This was followed by a series of presentations in the first session: Disappearing moths – the impact of light pollution (by Dr Adrian Spalding), Glowing, glowing, gone – are glow worms affected by light pollution? (by Dr Alan Stewart, University of Sussex), Do hedgehogs mind lighting? Results of the Mammal Society’s citizen science project and Creatures of the night: understanding the local and landscape-scale impacts of night lighting for bats (both by Professor Fiona Mathews, Chair of the Mammal Society).
The second session included presentations on Nocturnal lighting, health, civilisation and astronomy (by Julian Spalding, Former Director of Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries), Health implications of excessive nocturnal lighting (by Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, University of Surrey) and Dark Skies Project and the astronomical benefit of darkness (by Dr Wayne Thomas, Caradon Observatory).
After lunch, presentations were provided on The effects of Artificial Lighting on Landscape Character and Visual Amenity (by Karl Jones, Crestwood Environmental) and Lighting Impact Assessments – An overview of the LIA process (by Bonnie Brooks, Services Design Solution Ltd). The final session was a workshop on how we can limit the impact of artificial lighting without sacrificing the key benefits, led by Philippa Hoskin, with a concluding summary by Kevin Gaston.
A follow-up questionnaire was carried out and it is hoped that further initiatives will take place to encourage action to reduce lighting impacts in Cornwall. There are several benefits to aim for – lower lighting means:
- lower energy use and less expense on lighting
- reduced adverse impact on key species such as hedgehogs, bats, moths and glow-worms
- reduced adverse impact on the health and well-being of our human population.
A big thank you to all attendees and organisers for helping to make the day a success!