A STAR count needs people to record the number of stars they can see.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is putting a call-out to the region’s “citizen scientists” to join in Star Count 2014 – a cosmic census to help tackle light pollution.

Emma Marrington, CPRE Dark Skies Campaigner, said: “The Star Count survey can help us build a picture of how light pollution is affecting views of the night sky in the North West of England.

“We’ll use the results that local people submit to persuade ministers and local councils to reduce light pollution.”

Last year 70 per cent of people who completed the survey in the North West were able to spot fewer than ten stars, indicating severe light pollution in the region, the campaign claims.

Kendal’s Stuart Atkinson, of the Eddington Astronomical Association, said: “The sky’s an amazing part of the Lake District landscape, and as much of a feature as the fells and shops that you can explore by day.

“It’s important, people are growing up never having seen a dark sky, but it’s everyone’s right to have a dark sky.”

Countryside campaigners CPRE, and the British Astronomical Association’s Campaign for Dark Skies, in partnership with National Astronomy Week, are asking stargazers to count the number of stars they can see with the naked eye.

Volunteers are asked to spend a couple of minutes counting the stars in view in the Orion constellation, on any evening until Saturday March 8.

Numbers should then be recorded on the CPRE website, to be in with the chance of winning a Celestron AstroMaster telescope.