It gets dark on stage this weekend. During the night time, from Saturday to Sunday, attention is drawn to the importance of darkness and the inconvenience caused by artificial light. Tonight there will be activities in the dark all over Drenthe. Night night is always held when winter begins again, like last night.
Reinder Hoekstra counts the number of lampposts in the business park on the south side of Assen, which is still under development. Consortium for Nature and the Environment Director Drenthe is concerned about the large amount of artificial light. Hoekstra sums up a large number of lampposts, as well as a gas station with a huge amount of illuminated advertising and an advertising mast under construction. “The lighting is good, but if everything gets too heavy and we do it all over Drenthe, we won’t be left in the dark anymore.”
In places where the landscape is flooded with artificial light, some (nocturnal) animals are disturbed. Amphibians, for example, avoid bright spots. The more light, the smaller their habitat becomes. Artificial light disrupts the circadian clock in moths and some species of bats lose their natural habitat, just like amphibians.
“If you look at the Netherlands from above, it becomes the most luminous spot in Europe. All this light hinders us. This means: people can no longer see the starry sky, they can no longer experience darkness, but animals also suffer from it.” Hoekstra points out. Until the development of more and more lighting seems to be stabilizing. However, it is still the spearhead of the organization.
The light does not have to be completely turned off; It calls for a smarter use of it: LED lighting, for example, is more economical and more targeted lighting. “Then we can preserve darkness – one of Drenthe’s primal values. And darkness turns out to be a very valuable benefit, also for Drenthe. The strength of our province is partly ‘primal’: rediscover peace, only consent can you enjoy a dark night.”
The Union for Nature and the Environment has been fighting against too much artificial light since 2005. That year, more than a hundred volunteers set out to investigate light pollution. This resulted in Drenthe’s first light source map: a milestone for NMF, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year.
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