A dad-of-two wants the whole of Huddersfield to turn out the lights and look up to the stars.

Mark Harrison, 38, set up a Facebook group called Huddersfield Lights Out urging people across town to switch off their lights at the same time.

The idea is to show how light pollution spoils the view of stars in the night sky.

Mark, an electrician from Meltham, said: “It’s just a simple idea and I hope it will take off. I like looking at the stars but I’m no astronomer.

“I saw some images on the internet showing how the night sky could look without light pollution and I thought it would be amazing if we could re-create that in Huddersfield.”

Mark set up a Facebook group on Sunday night and had around 400 members in just 24 hours as people shared his post.

Mark has set a date of Saturday April 30 – but not yet a time – and hopes people will get on board and switch the lights off for half-an-hour or an hour, and gaze up in wonder.

“We are all so used to looking down that we should look up to the stars sometime,” said Mark. “I understand the best time to see stars is after a new moon so April 30 is the day after a new moon.

“If this takes off it could be something unique for Huddersfield and we could be the only place doing it.”

If people do get behind the idea Mark says he’ll speak to Kirklees Council to get their support and may also set up a community event – at somewhere like Castle Hill if he could get permission – to view the night sky and raise money for charity at the same time.

Mark, who works for Huddersfield firm Metro Eco, said the switch-off was all about light pollution though there could be an energy-saving message too.

“If we can all come together at the same time to clap, as we did for the NHS, then we can all simply turn our lights off for a bit. All the dads of Huddersfield will be happy at the thought of the lights being switched off if nothing else!”

To join the group search Huddersfield Lights Out on Facebook.

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