Consultation - February/March 2017

Chichester Harbour Conservancy are currently consulting on three new Dark Sky Discovery Sites in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Please let us know if you support our exciting plans!

Looking after our dark skies are important for:
  • Nocturnal animals, like bats, dormice, owls, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and spiders!
  • Astronomers, the scientists, including amateurs, who are developing our understanding of the universe.
  • Local businesses, since astro-tourism is one of fastest growing sectors.
  • Development management. Chichester Harbour already has the 3rd highest levels of light pollution of all the AONBs in England - let's try and reverse the trend!
  • The long-term protection of the AONB. This new designation will be consistent with existing designations which help to protect the landscape and wildlife of the Harbour.
Dark Sky Discovery Sites are places that:
  • Are away from the worst of any local light pollution.
  • Provide good sightlines of the sky with good public access, including firm ground for wheelchairs.
  • Are generally freely accessible at all times.
The three new potential Dark Sky Discovery Sites that we are consulting on are not in competition with each other. In due course, it is possible that they might all be designated! If successful, it simply means that each site is officially a good place to go stargazing. Designated sites are at least 10 square metres in size.
Although there are no direct planning implications with the designation, the Conservancy, through its own Planning Principles (available on our website), are committed to minimising the impact light pollution with all future developments in the local area.
We already believe the three sites we have chosen meet the criteria. They are all sufficiently dark, with good sight lines and a high level of accessibility. Now we'd like to know what you think!

* 1. Do you agree that it is important to protect our Dark Skies?

* 2. Do you support the Conservancy's bid for these Dark Sky Discovery Sites? Tick as many answers are you like.

* 3. Please leave any comments you may have in the space below.

Thank you. When you are ready, please click 'Done' at the bottom of this page to submit your responses.

Before you go, you may wish to  subscribe to our monthly email newsletter, Harbour CHIRP, where you can find out the latest news on our bids for Dark Sky Discovery Sites this year. You can sign-up on the Conservancy's website (look to the bottom of the page).

Our thanks go out to our partners - please click to links to find out more.

The South Downs Astronomical Society meet on the first Friday of every month at the Planetarium in Chichester. New members are welcome.

The Friends of Maybush Copse help to look after this regenerated community green space in Chidham. If you live you in the local area and you're not already a member, then it's time to join!

The Friends of Chichester Harbour support the Conservancy with practical, financial and moral support throughout the AONB. If you love Chichester Harbour then please help us to look after it by joining the Friends!

The Chichester Harbour Trust acquires land so it can be protected for the benefit of future generations including the potential Dark Sky Discovery Sites at Maybush Copse and Eames Farm.

The Chichester Harbour Federation helped to bring about the AONB designation in 1964 and remain keen advocates for the protection of the special landscape.

Finally, the UK Dark Sky Discovery Partnership is the organisation that will decide if our bids are successful! You can see all the other sites in the UK that are already designated.

Any questions? Please contact:

Richard Austin
AONB Manager
Chichester Harbour Conservancy
01243 510982 /

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