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What does International Dark Sky Reserve status mean?

What does International Dark Sky Reserve status mean?

  • The South Downs National Park is the second IDSR in England and one of only 16 in the world. With 2.2 million people living within 10km of the National Park our reserve is one of the most accessible in the world.
  • There are approximately 2,700 streetlights in the National Park. Local lighting authorities are gradually replacing these over time to comply with Dark Sky standards.
  • More than 25,000 individual measurements were taken to map the night skies quality across the South Downs. 66 per cent of the National Park has Bronze Level Skies.

In the future the South Downs National Park Authority will use its role as a planning authority to protect the dark skies above the National Park as well as the landscape on the ground.

Draft policies for the South Downs National Park’s Local Plan include specific lighting requirements that developers will need to meet.


"The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness."