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The Malham Tree, Venus, Cassiopeia, The Double Cluster & Andromeda Ben Bush

Love the Dales’ dark sky? Sign our Pledge

Wednesday 29 April, 2020, by Sarah Nicholson

With large expanses completely free from light pollution, the Yorkshire Dales is a truly special place to experience the sky at night.

When conditions are right it is possible to pick out the Milky Way, as well as planets, meteors and constellations. You might even catch the eerie glow of the Northern Lights or the International Space Station travelling at 17,000mph above our heads as it completes its 15.5 orbits of the earth every day.

But while the Dales’ night sky brings a unique sense of wonder and tranquillity, the increasing threat of light pollution is limiting our views. It also wastes energy, threatens nocturnal wildlife, and can even affect our own wellbeing. We need urgent action now to save our dark sky.

We are bidding to make the Yorkshire Dales an International Dark Sky Reserve – and we need your help.

Reserve status will recognise the exceptional nature of our night sky, protect it from further light pollution, and help ensure that everyone can understand and enjoy it.  

Please show your support for the Yorkshire Dales Dark Sky Reserve bid and

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Stargazers’ Diary

The sky at night can enthral and delight, bring us all together, and give a wonderful sense of well-being. While we are all staying safe at home, there is one thing we can do from our gardens and front door steps – look up and enjoy the tantalising world beyond our own.

Last week was all about the spectacle of the annual Lyrid meteor showers. This week there is another celestial show to marvel at – the planet Venus will reach its greatest level of brightness for the entire year.

And there is yet more for stargazers to look forward to next month. On 16 May you could see a smiley face in the night sky! This rare phenomenon – last witnessed in Asia in 2008 – comes about through a happy alignment of Venus, Jupiter and a crescent Moon. 

Find out more about how to enjoy the National Park’s dark sky.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please note that the Dark Sky Pledge is now closed.

Picture of Sarah Nicholson

Sarah Nicholson

Sarah is our communicator in residence at the YDNPA


13 Replies to “Love the Dales’ dark sky? Sign our Pledge”

  1. Caroline Ray says:

    Nothing quite so special as a truly dark sky!

  2. Alison says:

    This pledge link isn’t working

  3. Sally says:

    Where can we sign up to protect our dark skies?

  4. Gavin says:

    The sign our pledge link doesn’t work. Says the page is missing.

  5. Cally says:

    New to stargazing, could you provide the normal timeline of the activities. Like time to be around, how long we can stay, is it pay to enter to join.

    • Mark Sadler says:

      Hi Cally, we’re hoping the Dark Sky Festival will return next year. Understandably a lot of events aren’t happening right now, so check back with us.

  6. Georgina Wilkins says:

    I love the dark skies but was horrified to see that the National Park have recently approved a planning application for a 67 bedroom hotel in open countryside near Grassington. This is not protecting our dark skies, this will ruin them. How can the NP allow this massive hotel while also supporting dark skies? The two things are mutually exclusive.

    • Comms Team says:

      Dear Georgina
      Thank you for your comment and for contacting us. There have been extensive discussions on how to mitigate any impact of the Linton Camp hotel development on the dark sky – and a number of measures brought forward. The buildings have been designed with roofs with a significant overhang to shade the windows and timber louvres would be incorporated into all high level and some low level glazing to shade the windows from a distance. Glass would also be treated to reduce glare. The orientation of the buildings will also assist to reduce light emissions beyond the site boundary as the majority of the glazing will face into the site and the rising ground levels to the south. The applicant has stated that the external lighting scheme would be designed to be sensitive to the setting and surroundings whilst achieving the required operating standards and would be compliant with a Dark Sky Reserve status. A lighting assessment submitted with the application stated that the lighting scheme would be designed to be compliant with Environmental Zone E1 (Intrinsically dark areas such as National Parks and AONBs). However, there is still work to be done. A condition attached to the granting of planning permission will require the submission of the details of an external lighting scheme. Hope that helps. Thank you, Wendy (Communications Team)

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