Reducing light pollution helps protect wild animals and plants that depend on a daily cycle of light and darkness for their survival. It is also beneficial for human beings who have evolved under the same conditions and need darkness to enable them to have a proper night’s rest.
Artificial light has the potential to significantly disrupt ecosystems and conservationists have been concerned about it for a long time.
Insects can be particularly affected by artificial lighting. It is widely known that some invertebrates, such as moths, are attracted to artificial lights at night. In addition light reflected off shiny surfaces can attract aquatic insects away from water, and pollinators away from their usual habitats. Many invertebrates depend on seasonal and lunar changes in light levels for their behaviour. These are also disrupted by artificial light.
You can find out more about the effects of artificial light on insects here.
Illuminating a bat roost creates disturbance and may cause the bats to desert the roost. Light falling on a roost access point will delay bats from emerging and shorten the amount of hunting time left.
Slower flying broad winged species such as Brown Long-eared Bats and Daubenton’s Bat (both found within the area) generally avoid street lights. Insects are attracted to lit areas from further afield than would normally be the case. So adjacent habitats support a reduced numbers of insects thus compromising the ability of light avoiding bats to feed.
You can read more about the effects of artificial light on bats here.
Artificial lighting extends the day length and can change flowering patterns. More importantly it can promote continued growth into the autumn long after it is safe for the trees to do so with the onset of winter.
Light pollution does not just affects plants directly it also affects them indirectly by interfering with the lifecycles of their pollinators as above.