Ask your average travel buff what’s the best
thing about the Brecon Beacons National Park and they may extol the virtues of
a trek up the peaks of Pen y Fan or Cribyn. Few would mention just how dark it
is at night. It is, however, the purity of this darkness that has seen the park
awarded the status of Dark Sky Reserve for its optimum stargazing conditions –
one of only five places worldwide to be granted such an honour.
Reserves are a big deal for stargazing," explained Chris Bramley, editor of Sky
at Night magazine. "With so many people living in cities, we’re becoming less
aware of what’s up there, so it’s great that people can experience the skies in
a place where they’re kept in a pristine condition."
The national park applied to the International Dark Sky Association to earn the
status, a process that involved having its light pollution levels strictly
monitored, and shielding outdoor lighting to make it more dark-sky friendly.
around 40 minutes to adapt your eyes to the darkness, and as your pupils expand
you’ll notice much more.’"said Chris. "We’re so absorbed in the minutiae of our
daily lives, looking at the night sky puts us in a much larger context."
Other Dark Sky Reserves