Out of the darkness

I cant believe I have only got onto this topic just now.   Before I started to write to Newcastle City Council about cutting down habitat in Walker Park during the nesting season I used to write to Gateshead Council.  Every now and again they would consult on the environment.  Whilst I have a lot to write about many things ‘green’.  My particular issue with the Council -any council, has to be the light pollution of street lighting.

At the time it was a bit out there but now as some councils are faced with budget cuts they are cutting lighting after midnight to the early hours.  This worries people with thoughts of fear of crime.  And in some areas not just the thought of crime but real crime.  My suggestion which was always rejected was that in most areas you could just turn off half the street lights and have no real impact upon light levels.  Presumably this would save half the street lighting bill.

Anyway I am getting ahead of myself and in the usual 500 odd words I may no make any sense so there are other articles to read.  My original concern was with the impact on moths and bats as by some quirk of planning we have two street lights more or less in our garden.  But I progressed as our hedge got bigger and blue tits nested.  No moths=no caterpillars.  No caterpillars=no chicks raised.  No chicks raised . . .well you get the picture.

But light pollution alters daylength and blackbirds are ready to breed earlier than their rural blackbirds.  Does this put pressure on urban populations?  If so what kind of pressure?

We do know however that many night migrant birds can be pulled in on foggy nights.  Tonight it is still possible to hear Redwings as the ‘seep’ over.  How are they affected by what they see? Does our waste of light mean waste of life? And before you think its all about the birds ‘the end of night‘ affects us too.

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