Mid Wales now the place to go for dark sky stargazing
Where’s the best place to go in the UK to stargaze? Mid Wales of course its where the dark skies and reduced light pollution are attracts global recognition. Wales is renowned for its unspoilt, natural beauty and now has two areas that have achieved International Dark Sky status. The picturesque Elan Valley Estate, which stretches for 70 square miles from Rhayader westwards towards Aberystwyth, has created history by becoming the world’s first privately owned, but publicly accessed International Dark Sky Park.
The silver-tier status has been granted by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) based in Arizona, USA. This means that the 45,000 acre estate is now protected against light pollution for the benefit of those who live and work there, as well as for visitors and the abundance of wildlife found there. The Elan Valley Estate joins the Brecon Beacons National Park and due to its size, is classified as an International Dark Sky Reserve.
John Barentine, IDA project manager in Tucson, Arizona, said: “We’re thrilled by the outcome and what this means for Wales. With other sites in the application process, Wales will lead the entire world in terms of countries with the largest fraction of their land subject to dark skies protection.”
To find out more about the astronomical events run by the volunteer astro-rangers at the estate visit www.elanvalley.org.uk or call 01597 810880.