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Yorkshire Dales & North York Moors Dark sky Reserves!


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Hi all,

An enjoyable read on BBC News. Both Yorkshire Dales & North Yorkshire Moors are being given Dark Sky "special status" Link to story below.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-55218589

 

Encouraging news to protect what little dark sky we have left. I just hope more National Parks will now follow suit.

 

Baz

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

Hi all,

An enjoyable read on BBC News. Both Yorkshire Dales & North Yorkshire Moors are being given Dark Sky "special status" Link to story below.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-55218589

 

Encouraging news to protect what little dark sky we have left. I just hope more National Parks will now follow suit.

 

Baz

 

 


Hi Baz,

That is indeed very welcome news, and much needed, because our dark skies are gradually being eroded year on year. Great to see that at least in some special areas their fabulous dark skies are now protected. 
I have spent a couple holidays in the Yorkshire moors area and not surprisingly I took my trusty Celestron with me. Oh boy, what a treat that was!

Thank goodness we have the dedicated people and organisations to ensure these dark skies for future generations to enjoy.

Keith

Edited by Moonshed
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A sincere thanks to all those who have worked with all the stakeholders to make this happen! May many more succeed and  thus give more people the ability to see what the skies should look like. 
 

peter

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Excellent news - this covers a massive area -1350 sq mi. I'd love to see the whole of the Cairngorms up here follow suit. There is a dark sky park up on the NE side between Tomintoul and Glenlivet, but the whole of the Cairngorms should ideally be a reserve. That's a lot of doors to knock on though and a lot of people to convince. 

Well done to everyone involved in Yorkshire, bet it was a monumental task!

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Yes very good. Over here in the West of Ireland there are similarly dark skies to protect. Much of Kerry somehow has managed to make a Dark Sky reserve of itself, and now that I find myself with some time to spare I'll have to see how West Cork can be persuaded to do the same.

Magnus

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2 hours ago, Captain Magenta said:

Yes very good. Over here in the West of Ireland there are similarly dark skies to protect. Much of Kerry somehow has managed to make a Dark Sky reserve of itself, and now that I find myself with some time to spare I'll have to see how West Cork can be persuaded to do the same.

Magnus

Good idea.... lots of SQM data.... 😉

 

peter

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Yes, I heard Richard Darn on Radio 4 Today & TWAO talking about the Yorkshire Dark Sky sites today.

He spoke very well and informatively about the benefits to all and highlighted the stress relieving benefits that come from being on your own, by choice to enjoy the wonders above ours heads.

I have met Richard on a number of occasions at Galloway Star Party, he even mentioned Galloway Dark Skies site during TWAO interview.

You can find more about Richard and the work he does here:-

https://gostargazing.co.uk/organiser/richarddarn/

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Also heard that interview with Richard Darn on R4 Today programme. I believe that his first success was the formation of the Northumberland Dark Sky Park. A tireless campaigner for dark sky awareness, preservation and status, met him and attended his talks, on a number of occasions a few years back at the Kielder Star Camps. His comments this morning were very interesting, such as a couple who had lived in Middlesbrough all of their lives, it was a revelation for them to travel just a handful of miles away from the Town and see the Milky Way for the first time. This is great news to for wildlife, there are campaigns in North Yorkshire to put an end to illegal persecution of raptors, which has happened extensively this year and for the abolition of peat burning on upland moors. Complete protection for the dark sky quality and its natural habitats, will appeal to create new tourist sectors  - the success for dark sky tourism, something else Richard picked up on.  

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It is progress but as I commented to a friend on FBook, the N/Yorks dark sky is excellent until your eyes adapt. Then to the trained eye you can still see skyglow coming from Manchester through to Bradford and beyond. 

I was at the ribblehead viaduct so it may be less so (from the south) as you get deeper into the park.

However don't be Mr glass half empty, it is indeed good news and worth a mini celebration. 

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.... there appear to be more areas working on similar applications, even talk of dark urban locations (as far as that is possible). The more poor lights that can be corrected the better the skies for all of us.

 

peter

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I think there maybe an issue with what all these "dark sky parks" are for. This maybe due to an issue with the way the IDA certifies them as it only inlcudes vertical SQM measurments, and almost no astronomer works at the zenith. What would be more useful is measurements taken at say 50 degrees. I think the defintion now is for people coming from brightly lit cities to see something rather than true dark skies. I doubt anywhere in England would have a true dark sky as the light pollution from cities reaches so far. As such it seems more of a game to set these things up rather than be useful for visual deep sky observing. There maybe limited views in certain directions that could be free of light pollution but in general you are always going to get sky glow from towns.

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The greater the awareness, the more people can appreciate and hopefully the more places will be recognised. The areas have to have full local backing and to have surveyed all the light fittings in their area and ensure they are suitable and maintained that way. Cities sidewards light spill is the big target that we have yet to make an impact on. If we could have all lights full cutoff then the dark skies would get darker and closer to the cities. The zenith is the darkest area as it’s the thinnest bit of atmosphere, maybe harder to view, but worth the effort. If you only want to view in perfect skies then foreign travel is your only option.

Peter 

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24 minutes ago, PeterW said:

The greater the awareness, the more people can appreciate and hopefully the more places will be recognised. The areas have to have full local backing and to have surveyed all the light fittings in their area and ensure they are suitable and maintained that way. Cities sidewards light spill is the big target that we have yet to make an impact on. If we could have all lights full cutoff then the dark skies would get darker and closer to the cities. The zenith is the darkest area as it’s the thinnest bit of atmosphere, maybe harder to view, but worth the effort. If you only want to view in perfect skies then foreign travel is your only option.

Peter 

Scotland's Galloway has some amazingly dark skies to the south as there is nothing there to spoil it. However that is 6 hours drive from me so not exactly local. Still going there in March for the new moon. 😉

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Of course the aim is to protect what is left - which is imperfect. Anyone such as myself, who seek dark sky locations for observing are fully aware of varied extent of interference of sky glow such as from distant Towns. It is possible to escape from it, even in England, remote expansive depopulated areas on the England, Scotland border for example and around Kielder. As has been mentioned, it is about raising awareness and perhaps influencing, changing policy towards the onslaught of cheap led lighting and ever expanding developments, installing appropriate lighting such as softer yellow rather than the white. Encouraging and motivating people to see the Milky Way for the first time and transform the meagre star count in a Town into something much more spectacular. Then maybe even witness an aurora. Amature observers such as myself, do log our sky brightness readings at different locations on varied nights and this will provide a reading at within a 40 degree point of sky from zenith; using a SQM-L devise. Inevitably, protection, education and awareness campaigns can only accomplish so much, unless there is radical cultural, social change in community habits and attitudes towards artificial light sources. 

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5 hours ago, PeterW said:

If you only want to view in perfect skies then foreign travel is your only option.

Best dark skies I've seen (so far) have been about 5 miles north of Dolgellau. It's always depressing coming home...

You've gotta love Wales
Cheers
Ivor

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Like the state of the natural environment in the U.K., I would hope we can go a long way beyond merely protecting the meagre dregs of what is left and actively push back towards what we have previously lost. 
Peter

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