Brecon Beacons Bid for Dark Skies Status

The Brecon Beacons National Park has released a promo video in support of their bid to become the first International Dark Sky Reserve in Wales.

Night skies over the Brecon Beacons, 99 kb
Night skies over the Brecon Beacons
© Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Commissioned by Brecon Beacons Park Society and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, the film underlines how dark the night sky is above the National Park despite its relative proximity to large urban areas.

Ruth Coulthard, Funding Development Manager for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said:

'There are so many benefits to us gaining accreditation, which is the reason we are actively pursuing this designation with the Park Society. Not only will it give deserved recognition to one of our most special features, it will help reduce light pollution in the future, reduce C02 emissions, have many benefits to wildlife and give a real boost to our tourism economy. In addition, with the education and community events programme we hope to develop, we will be able to increase understanding and enjoyment of our wonderful dark skies to residents and visitors – now and in the future.'

Dark Sky accreditation seems to be increasingly sought after in an age when light pollution has made the stars all but invisible to the urban masses. In October 2011 Exmoor became Europe's first International Dark Sky Reserve, an award granted to date to only two destinations worldwide. International Dark Sky Reserve status is easily confused with the ostensibly similar Dark Sky Park ranking, an accolade earned by Galloway Forest Park in 2009. What's the difference? We're hoping someone will shed some light on it for us.

Supporters of the Brecon Beacons bid claim the Reserve award would create new opportunities for tourism and the local economy, and help protect the region's night skies for future generations.

A lighting survey is currently being conducted in the National Park as part of the ongoing accreditation process. Residents living within the Brecon Beacons National Park are being encouraged to get involved in the initiative and see how reducing their light pollution could save them money on their energy bills, enhance their own views of the night sky and help support the drive to become Wales' first International Dark Sky Reserve.

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