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