Shepton Mallet sky gazers - Help rewild the night - get Star Counting

By Guest

14th Feb 2023 | Local Features

To celebrate the wonder of starry skies, the public are being invited to take part in CPRE's Star Count, a cosmic census to map our view of the night sky. It's taking place between 17th and 24th February this year and the countryside charity is urging as many people as possible to wrap up warm, go outside and take part.

 A star-filled sky is one of the most magical sights you can see in our countryside and the stars have inspired art and culture for thousands of years. But too often, light pollution means that many of us can't see the stars, especially if we live in or near a big town or city. Just 3% of people in the UK experience 'truly dark skies. Some places in Somerset are very dark, especially Exmoor National Park which is an International Dark Sky Reserve, and the more remote areas like the Somerset Levels and Moors. Mendip has pockets of dark skies but it also has several large towns, so light pollution can spill out into the nearby countryside.

Together we can work towards rewilding the night for the benefit of people and wildlife. Take part in CPRE's Star Count by choosing a clear night between 17 – 24 February and counting the number of stars you can see within the constellation of Orion. It's easy to do, and you don't need a telescope or any equipment.

Your results will help CPRE create an interactive map of the nation's view of the night sky, and where light pollution is at its worst, so local councils can take action. It's a family-friendly activity that's quick and easy to do and can help more of us experience and benefit from dark skies.

You can find out how to do your own Star Count by visiting


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