1. Wales

'Dark Sky' status for Beacons

The Brecon Beacons National Park has become the fifth location in the world - and the first in Wales - to be granted International Dark Sky Reserve status, which protects the quality of star-gazing in the area.

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Brecon Beacons wins bid to protect its skies

Brecon Beacons National Park has been granted 'Dark Sky Reserve' status, which grants it special protection for stargazing in the area.

In order to achieve the special status, local astronomers conducted a survey assessing levels of light pollution in the area, and sent information to residents living in the area to help them understand simple ways they could reduce light pollution.

Local communities supported the bid, with residents in Talybont-on-Usk holding their own Star Party and organising a community light switch off.

There are only four other areas in the world that hold 'Dark Sky Reserve' status:

  • Mont Megantic – Quebec, Canada
  • Exmoor National Park – Devon and Somerset Counties, England
  • Aoraki Mackenzie – New Zealand
  • NambiRand Nature Reserve – Namibia

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Brecon Beacons in 2011, as they were preparing their International Dark Sky Reserve application. I was impressed by their dedication to preserving the night sky in this wonderful natural setting. It is a wonderful addition to the International Dark Sky Reserve programme.

– Bob Parks, The International Dark-Sky Association’s Executive Director

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