International Dark Sky Designation

Celebrate International Dark Sky Week - 15 to 21 April 2018

Free Galaxy of Stars evening, Siblyback Lake

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Friday 20 April 2018

The Galaxy of Stars stargazing evening will be led by Caradon Observatory and starts at 7.30pm on Friday 20 April at Siblyback Lake near Liskeard (PL14 6ER).

The evening will begin with talks on what galaxies are and how they are formed, followed by interactive activities to help people understand the importance of Bodmin Moor’s designation as an International Dark Sky Landscape.

After the sun sets around 8.30pm, there will be a chance to view the night sky through large telescopes. Weather permitting, there may be a glimpse of a crescent Venus and an opportunity to hunt for some galaxies as the evening grows darker. Don't forget to wrap up warm. If it’s cloudy, people will still be able to enjoy the Magic Planet, an interactive globe showing the topography of planets, and a question and answer session with the astronomers.

The onsite café, the Rock Hopper, will be open until 9.00pm for drinks and food, and meals can be booked in advance on 01579 343448.

For more information about the Galaxy of Stars evening, email South West Lakes Trust at info@swlakestrust.org.uk or ring 01579 346522.

Deep Space Triple Bill, Sterts Theatre

Saturday 21 April 2018

Deep Space is an exciting and unique triple bill of new performances produced by Mayes Creative, at the Sterts Theatre near Liskeard for one night at 7.30pm on Saturday 21 April.

The performances will showcase work from leading artists exploring ways to literally express the creative energy of the universe. Top of the triple bill is Deep Space itself - a significant new work created by artists working at the cutting edge of media, arts and scientific ideas on space and time and inspired by real data from cosmic rays from distant galaxies, captured as they strike Cornwall from space.

Tickets are available from Sterts Theatre or bookable by phone on 01579 362382 and are £8 or £6 concessions, with child seats priced at £4. Do dress warmly, as Sterts is a covered amphitheatre, not an indoor theatre space!

The International Dark-Sky Association has officially designated Bodmin Moor as an International Dark Sky Landscape. This follows an application prepared by Cornwall Council and Caradon Observatory (this version has updated links).

Recent light readings show the quality of the night sky over Bodmin Moor is amongst the best in the world. The purpose of achieving a designation is to capture the wide-ranging benefits of conserving this natural asset including:

  • Scientific advantages – enabling enhanced conditions for astronomy;
  • Educational outreach – facilitating both formal education (at all levels) and more informal activities;
  • Enjoyment and appreciation – improving quality of life and provide creative inspiration;
  • Health – promoting improved sleep patterns and reducing stress;
  • Wildlife – providing a more natural environment for both nocturnal and diurnal animals; and
  • Energy efficiency – reducing wastage from unnecessary or excessive lighting.

The Core Area is the extent of Bodmin Moor which is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). There is also a 2 mile Buffer Zone around this in which good lighting practice will also be encouraged and where communities are also expected to reap some of the benefits.

We want to encourage people who live and/or work on the Moor to manage lighting better and make sure it does what it needs to without harming the night sky.

Nevertheless we will not make anyone change their lights. We all need to see what we’re doing and feel safe as we go about our business. Too often however lighting is overly bright, needlessly spills upwards, poorly aimed and creates shadows – making it harder to see as well as being wasteful and harmful to the night sky. Well considered light can be much more effective.

We’ll produce a quick guide for Dark Sky friendly lighting for when fitting new lights or replacing old. We will encourage:

  • Installing lights that point down not up;
  • Turning lights off when they aren’t needed, maybe use a timer; and
  • Only lighting where you need to.

Both Cornwall Council street lighting and Highways England trunk road lighting have been assessed as part of this project. Cornwall Council lighting has been upgraded across the county as part of the Invest to Save scheme which has improved efficiency and reduced light pollution. We are also looking at where additional adjustments to street lighting would be appropriate on Bodmin Moor.

A list of frequently asked questions has been produced based on discussions with members of the public and other stakeholders.

Please email us at darksky@cornwall.gov.uk to subscribe to our electronic newsletters.  Past newsletters are available to download below:. Past newsletters are available to download below.

Good lighting practice is encouraged across Cornwall. There are also community-led efforts underway for an international designation for west Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. View their Dark Skies Facebook page.

If you have any queries or comments you can email us at darksky@cornwall.gov.uk or write to us using the address below:

Dark Sky Bid, Cornwall Council, Planning Policy Team, Pydar House, Pydar Street, Truro  TR1 1XU