Snowdonia Eyes Dark Sky Status

The Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) is pushing for the park to become the seventh UK location to win recognition as an International Dark Sky Reserve.

If successful in its bid Snowdonia would join a small but growing list of British locations where the night sky is protected against excessive light, including Northumberland and the Galloway Forest Park.

My favourite campsite at night., 103 kb
My favourite campsite at night.
© CrushUnit, Mar 2014

As part of the initial work into their 'Seeing Stars' campaign Authority staff, volunteers from the Snowdonia Society and lighting specialists have been recording night time light levels in the National Park. They've concluded that it is indeed dark enough to merit Dark Sky status.

The SNPA's Director of Planning and Heritage Jonathan Cawley said:

'We can’t ignore the benefits of being an area which has been designated as a Dark Sky Reserve. The area’s wildlife will be protected, the quality of the environment will be improved, and there will be a new natural attraction to draw new visitors to Snowdonia during quiet periods of the year. This in turn will improve the local economy and the dark sky of Snowdonia will be protected for future generations.'

'We will not insist that night lights should be switched off and we will not ask anyone to spend large sums of money on changing all their lights! All we ask is for people to adjust their use of light. It’s important for us to explain what we’re trying to achieve and have the cooperation of the residents of Snowdonia in this respect.' 

To explain the idea and its potential benefits to both nocturanal wildlife and the visitor economy, the Authority has arranged a series of drop-in sessions through February in locations across the park. See here for details. 

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