Find out more about the Isle of Wight Dark Sky Initiative at launch

Achieving Dark Sky Status will bring many great benefits for the Isle of Wight. Come along to the launch on 24th May to find out more.

Milky Way:

This is very exciting news for the Isle of Wight. Brian Curd from the Vectis Astronomical Society shares the news. Ed

The Vectis Astronomical Society (VAS) will be officially launching the Isle of Wight Dark Sky Initiative on Friday 24th May.

Bob Mizon – a senior member of the British Astronomical Association and Campaign for Dark Skies, and Martin Morgan-Taylor – board member of the International Dark Skies Association will give a presentation entitled “Dark Skies – Dark Future?”

International Dark Skies Status
This will be followed by a short presentation outlining details of the VAS application for International Dark Skies Status for the Isle of Wight

Our Island is already well known for its dark skies, as celebrated each March by the “Isle of Wight Star Party” attended by around 100 observational astronomy enthusiasts and professionals. This event has featured in recent editions of Sky at Night and Astronomy Now magazines.

Potentially the best combination of dark skies and clear weather
Professor Bill Martin of the University of Hertfordshire Centre for Astrophysics and Atmospheric Instrumentation Research has operated a dark sky monitoring station on the Island for several years, and has stated:

“with the data we have from the Isle of Wight you potentially have the best combination of dark skies and clear weather in the UK.”

The benefits of Dark Sky status
Most types of pollution are being tackled but, so far, light pollution seems to have had little attention even though it can affect all our health and well-being.

VAS is committed to reduce light pollution on the Isle of Wight and believes that achieving International Dark Sky status for the island through the International Dark Sky Association will:

  • Strengthen the island’s tourism industry
  • Improve the well-being of the population
  • Reduce environmental impact
  • Enable further education and scientific research projects
  • Recognize our Island as one of the most environmentally friendly
  • and enjoyable places to be on earth.

Please send letters of support to:
Isle of Wight Dark Skies Initiative, 35 Forest Road, Winford, Isle of Wight, PO36 0JY

All welcome to launch
If you’d like to attend the launch of the initiative, it takes place at Newport Parish Church Centre, Town Lane from 7.15 pm on Friday 24th May 2013.

Image: © Used with permission of Chad Powell

Monday, 13th May, 2013 2:31pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Newport, Top story, Tourism

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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8 Comments on "Find out more about the Isle of Wight Dark Sky Initiative at launch"

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“Letters of support to…” You don’t often hear that nowadays!

This would be fantastic, and a way of bringing light pollution to everyone’s minds as part of safeguarding a life-enhancing aspect of the Island’s heritage. I’m sure it would become a big draw.


Well done Brian and VAS, quite a long and difficult application process by all accounts and one that will require support from both the Council and community at large.

Supporting letter in the post and hope to solicit a few more!

You are quite correct, it has taken a while to get to this stage and work continues. We are now very much into the “gathering more community” stage hence the request for letters of support. A bit old fashioned perhaps, but they will be added to our final application document along with a list of collected supporting signatures. Thanks to all who are helping with this, it’s… Read more »
Robert Jones
I hope the initiative comes to the attention of a couple of neighbours here in semi-rural Niton Undercliff who have outside lights fitted to their houses which are triggered, in their blinding intensity, every time a badger trundles past; which they regularly do. All these damn’ things do is advertise to potential burglars that the house is empty between lets: only my commendable adherence to law and… Read more »

I live very close to an all weather sports pitch which is floodlighted. These cause light pollution.
Trying to reverse my car into my garage is very difficult because the floodlights blind me.
The council gave themselves permission for these, and would not listen to those living by this problem.


Hi Baz,
I/we may be able to help with this (no promises). Feel free to contact me via the “Contact VAS” menu at

Elaine Spear
As a current member of Vas, I am very proud of this initiative. Achieving Dark Sky Status would be such an amazing outcome. A big thank you needs to go to Brian and those involved. I live in Cowes and am really liking the new energy efficient street lights being fitted. They are down lighters and just light up the areas needed, as in the road and… Read more »

OK Brian, I will be in touch.
Thanks, Baz