Nidderdale Dark Skies Festival: Discovery sites revealed 'to see stars in all their glory'

The celebrations this year, also coincide with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing
The celebrations this year, also coincide with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing

Four spots in the Dales have been officially declared as ‘discovery sites,’ to take in stars as the world celebrates fifty years since mankind first landed on the Moon.

As part of the returning Dark Skies Festival, a combined effort by Nidderdale AONB, the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks the sites were announced earlier this month. Selected in recognition of their accessibility and as ‘excellent places to stargaze,’ Thruscross reservoir, Scar HouseReservoir, Fewston Reservoir and Toft Gate have all been selected.

The celebrations this year, whilst marking the anniversary, are a chance to showcase the Dales status as home to some of the darkest skies in the country.

With the festival taking place from February to March 3, Sarah Kettlewell, Manager at Nidderdale AONB, said: “2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, so it’s a thrilling year to announce our new Dark Skies status. As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a landscape so special it is protected for the nation, Nidderdale has a truly unique astrotourism offer.”

Activities for the festival will also include star gazing by canoe with How Stean Gorge adventures at Scar House Reservoir.

Astronomer, Richard Darn, said: “This is fabulous news. Light pollution has robbed most people of their view of the heavens, but these newly designated sites offer a grandstand view of the starry sky in all its glory.”

Visit www.nidderdaleaonb.org.uk to find out more.