Cumbria

Friends of the Lake District seeks dark sky volunteers

Ullswater Image copyright Alan Graham
Image caption Volunteers are needed to take dark sky meter readings in five different places around the county

Volunteers are being encouraged to help find out how dark Cumbria's skies are.

The Friends of the Lake District want to create an official dark sky reserve in the county but need public help to determine where it should be.

Volunteers would measure how dark Cumbria's skies are and identify where they could be better. On-the-job training would be provided.

Protecting the night sky can benefit stargazers, astronomer and nocturnal animals, said the group.

Image copyright Mark Mcneill
Image caption Friends of the Lake District said Cumbria has some of the darkest skies in the country

Dark Skies officer Johanna Korndorfer said: "Volunteers are needed to take five dark sky meter readings in five different places around the county.

"We'll pick areas closest to where you live and train you to use meter readers and when to take the readings."

The data will then be added to Friend of the Lake District's evolving map of dark sky readings.

The first round of readings is expect to taken between 23-30 November.

Volunteers are being asked to sign up by emailing Friends of the Lake District.

It is hoped that the county will achieve the internationally recognised status as a Dark Sky Reserve in the future.

There are different kinds of status awarded by the International Dark Skies Association.

Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water and Forest Park were granted Dark Sky Park status in 2013.

International Dark Sky Reserves

Aoraki Mackenzie (New Zealand)

Brecon Beacons National Park (Wales)

Central Idaho (US)

CĂ©vennes National Park (France)

Cranborne Chase AONB (England)

National Park Exmoor (England)

Kerry (Ireland)

Mont-Megantic (Canada)

Moore's Reserve (South Downs, England)

Nature Reserve NamibRand (Namibia)

Pic du Midi (France)

Rhon (Germany)

Snowdonia National Park (Wales)

Westhavelland (Germany)

Source: International Dark Sky Association

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