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Open Club  ·  19 members

West Midlands

Good and safe observing sites in the West Mids?


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Hi all

I know of some places which COULD be good to observe from but it's finding places that are safe, free from the boy racers and the canine fans. Seems to be a common problem these days. I know the West Mids isn't the best for light polution but there's still some good seeing to be had, just need the spots to go to.

Anyone know of some good spots? Near me there's Highgate Common which isn't ideally far away from street lights but it's better than being in the town but that can be frequented by cars stopping by.

Frustrating isn't it! :D

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Hi all There is a group of us that use a site near Cosford RAF base, they dont fly at night from there. its dark away from car lights etc I am also looking at locations on Cannock Chase. Steve

Well folks,i have been mailing round a few campsites in what looks to be darkish areas and have had one positive reply back from a site in Aston Cantlow. I know some other members have been to AS and

Hi all I know of some places which COULD be good to observe from but it's finding places that are safe, free from the boy racers and the canine fans. Seems to be a common problem these days. I know th

Hi,

very frustrating, I live in Streetly, between Sutton Coldfield and Walsall. We have Barr Beacon (nice and high for lower down sightings) and Sutton Park (lots of trees but some open spaces for good overhead views). However, both are closed off to cars at night, so, while you could take a chance what/whoever might be 'about', you'd need to carry your gear along on foot.

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Hi

Yeah I was up Barr Beacon for the Venus transit with the Walsall Astro group. Nice place to observe but as you say, closed at night :( I think the only places left really are your own back garden and private grounds if you can get on the good side of the owner. Rubbish eh LOL

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I was up near Highgate common for my transit 'experience' !

We went for a look about a year or so ago, one cold night - Orion was high, and believe it or not I could clearly see Cygnus skirting the northern horizon - which I never see in my garden !

however, Highgate does have an unsavoury reputation at that time of day - 'canine' could be one word for it !

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Yes they're everywhere it seems. Highgate is a decent place too, not fantastically dark but much better than the back garden and a decent all-round view. I think it would be good if there was a group of 4 or 5+ viewing. I was there back in March/April time (it's only 15-20 mins away) getting a couple of shots of Orion before it disappeared until winter and yes the odd car turned up but they didn't stay long when they saw a dirty great DSLR on a tripod LOL Must have though I was some sort of patrol :D

Be good to get a few together for a bit of a viewing session towards the end of the year when we have Jupiter, Orion, Pleades etc :)

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I attended a wedding reception in Worfield, just outside Wolverhampton, in April 2011. The area was dark & the stars where the brightest I'd seen for a while (a farmers field was near by). In fact everyone commented on the starry display. I know its a bit of a jaunt for some but it may be worth noting.

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Yeah, Worfield's lovely, but a bit remote. I've played cricket there a couple of times. bit of a trek for a sesh really - although usually, I only make it as far as my garden !

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Actually I've just had a look at Worfield on Google maps and it's only 15 miles away for me and there seems to be a sporting place (well it seems to have tenis courts and a huge open field) which could be very good to set up. Just can't see a name of the place on Google street view. Is that where you've played cricket Jim?

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Hi all

There is a group of us that use a site near Cosford RAF base, they dont fly at night from there. its dark away from car lights etc

I am also looking at locations on Cannock Chase.

Steve

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Hi all

There is a group of us that use a site near Cosford RAF base, they dont fly at night from there. its dark away from car lights etc

I am also looking at locations on Cannock Chase.

Steve

Hi Steve.

As mentioed in another post, i do have friend who is willing to let us stargaze on one of his fields but he does want to charge us £5 per night.

The field does have leccy points,twelve i think,but i don't know if that would be included in the price i can check if it is needed??.

I have sent DD the details via PM as i wasn't sure if i could put a link up on here?

I did go along one night back in April i think it was with another forum member who is more experienced at stargazing and he reckons it was quite a good site for gazing.

We did feel safe and we knew we wouldn't be disturbed so that did make me feel better.

If ican put a link up to the farm site i will.??

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Hi Steve, wonder if you could tell us what the skies are like out at Cosford, only ever been in my garden and the glow is terrible, Ive posted this question on another thread so sorry for doubling up - any hint of the Milky Way out there, what scopes are you using and what sort of Galaxies (how faint and what sort of mags are you able to see). Paul.

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Paul

Not sure how dark, I am very poor at keeping records, but it should be a milky way visible site, I have posted on the old Wolves & Black country thread and am waiting to get a response, anyhow its going to be better than Rowley Regis or Wolverhampton.

Do you ever go to starparties your kit looks very capable.

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I think anything that's a couple of miles or more from towns is going to be infinitely better than being where we live for observing LOL. I'm up for the Cosford spot whenever anything is going on Steve, it's only just over half an hour away :)

I've still got to get over to Blakelands and ask them about using their ground, hopefully do that this Friday with a bit of luck. May be able to add another site to the list :)

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Hi Steve/Dazz Thanks very much for the replies - Steve I was a member of Wolves AS a few years ago when they used to meet a Beckminster Church Hall,I think they have now moved location to Penn - not sure. Cosford sounds a great deal better than Rowley Regis, going off memory - I think that the Milky Way was detectable at the zenith and thinking back it was Cygnus - so must have been in summer - but when I say I saw it - it was "just a slight increase of light" nothing like we all want to see. My older scope was an LX 90 which I took to Wolves, but, back then, there was no public star parties arranged by the Society, the meetings and lectures by the speakers were really interesting.

I've only recently bought the Celestron, due to the really poor weather I've not used it a great deal - only now owning a motorbike it would be a problem actually getting it to a dark site, but would be able to get to Cosford, but I'm afraid strapping the cpc to my back is a no no!!!!.

I would be really interested in coming along to the site and having a look through the scopes that you have there.

I'm really pleased with the new scope, I had to sell my Meade and a 12" revelation dob to part fund the celestron- I opted for the SCT over a larger dob because of the way the Meade performed - don't get me wrong the dob was fantastic - but larger aperture dobs tend to have a a lower F number - but as we know there are pro's and cons for each mirror system - yes I know theres reduced contrast with the schmidt - but I found that the Meade, for me, worked flawlessly - always aligned - 100% happy with it as I think you are with the LX 90.

I'm also really impressed with my little 127mm mak on the planets the views are stunning - I've owned a few scopes and the 127 Mak really impressed me - i expected good planetary images - but was blown away - and to a certain extent the brighter deep sky works well - I know its only 5" in aperture - but very impressed none the less.

Thanks again guys for the replies - looking forward to meeting up under the stars and I bet that Taks a fantastic piece of kit. Paul.

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Paul

Not sure how dark, I am very poor at keeping records, but it should be a milky way visible site, I have posted on the old Wolves & Black country thread and am waiting to get a response, anyhow its going to be better than Rowley Regis or Wolverhampton.

Do you ever go to starparties your kit looks very capable.

Cosford looks good - just need these pesky nights to start drawing in a bit now we're past solstice...

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Tell me about it Jim but we're over the hump now so it's a nice roll towards dark nights :)

Yes I'm looking forward to seeing the Cosford site, can't wait to get my scope to a much darker site then my back yard LOL :D

Tapped with my own fair fingers on my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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As mentioed in another post, i do have friend who is willing to let us stargaze on one of his fields but he does want to charge us £5 per night.

The field does have leccy points,twelve i think,but i don't know if that would be included in the price i can check if it is needed??.

I have sent DD the details via PM as i wasn't sure if i could put a link up on here?

I did go along one night back in April i think it was with another forum member who is more experienced at stargazing and he reckons it was quite a good site for gazing.

We did feel safe and we knew we wouldn't be disturbed so that did make me feel better.

If ican put a link up to the farm site i will.??

Hi Paul,

Did you find out about the electric charge ??

I'd be good for that one, when it gets a bit darker.

I'll spend a fiver in petrol, getting over to anything further.

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Wish I could make it over there with you but I'm filming a trailer (movie type trailer not a towing type lol) all day Saturday. Be interested to hear how it goes. Be good to get a list of sites ready for the dark nights. I'm hoping to try Blakelands within the next week :)

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Where is Blakelands Daz??

Is there anything else i will need to ask while i am over there the weekend??

Blakelands is in the sticks near Halfpenny Green Airport. Regarding the site I thing we need to know cost, if they have a maximum number of people who can go at one time and things like that.

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Right everyone here are the details for gazing at the farm site i have previously mentioned.

The site is in Chadwick End.

The field is used for camping,caravans and motor homes only,there are no toilet facilities on site.

Star gazing will only be allowed when there are no other campers on site,so you will need to phone beforehand to check the site is avaialable,its usually ok for the winter months.

There are 12 electric hook up points.

Prices are-

For gazing,just a scope and car parked in the field,the cost will be £5.00 per person per night.

Use of the leccy points (there are 12 in total) will be an extra £1.00.PPPN.

Caravans and motor homes are welcome,for longer sessions if needed, but you will need to phone to make arrangements,PM me and i will pass on the contact details.

The owner said he would also like 24 hour notice and payment in advance before any session,so make sure you will be getting a good clear night before you do :wink:

You can also phone first thing on the day if the weathers looking good but again they want as much notice as possible before you turn up.

The site is a working farm so due care must be taken and be respectful of the owners wishes.

He will not tolerate any rowdy behaviour,his words!!! :shocked:

The owner is willing to give this a go and was also talking about another field that could be used,which would be better he reckons,but at this moment there is no access to it.

So folks there you have it.

Anything you need to know just PM me and i will try and answer your questions or i can give you the cotact details of the site :smiley:

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I'd be happy with that Paul.

It's only a 17 min drive & having power is a huge bonus for me (laptop gets only 2 hours on battery).

is there a local pub, where facilites could be used & for a hot cuppa ?

Sounds nice & safe, but don't think i'd go on my own, I hope we could have a few group ones set up (depending on weather) ??

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