In a new series of satellite maps, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), have criticised protected vegetable grower Thanet Earth as the second worst light polluter in the country, second only to Tata Steel in Rotherham.
CPRE said in a statement, “Thanet Earth pledged to improve its greenhouse blinds in 2013, yet the light emitted is still severe. Its maximum brightness value is 84.98 nanowatts/cm2*sr, brighter than anywhere else in the South East, including London.”
However, the company defended its use of lighting and published a detailed explanation of the screens it uses on its website. “To achieve an economically-sustainable yield in the winter months then we have to supplement the natural light that the plants receive. Both of the tomato glasshouses at Thanet Earth are equipped with growlights which provide the plants with a light intensity that replicates the light levels of a typical spring day,” it explained. “In total, our two operational lit greenhouses have some 20,000 lights at work. Each is around 1000W. These lights are usually switched on by around midnight, and will stay on until the afternoon.”
Thanet Earth also pointed out that growlights are not used between April and September, depending on light levels, and that there are few dwellings in the immediate vicinity of the site. “By leaving the lights off until 11pm at the earliest, we aim to minimise any impact of the lights on our neighbours.”
Photo Caption: The growlights at Thanet Earth stay on until the afternoon