In today’s world, according to Royal Observatory astronomer, Marek Kukula, 90% of Britain’s population doesn’t get to see the amazing spectacle that is the night sky.
Light pollution has stolen from many of us one of the most extraordinary sights on Earth – the brightest stars from the billions in our Milky Way, the streak of meteors, our neighbouring planets such as Venus and Jupiter, and the glow of other galaxies like Andromeda.
“People have been looking at the night sky, telling stories, for the entirety of recorded human history. But when we moved into cities, we lost that deep connection with the universe.” – Marek Kukula
On a brighter note, you don’t need to go far to reconnect with the universe, Bryan Cox style, and find the dark side. The Lake District National Park offers truly stunning stellar vistas with two designated sites that have been awarded Dark Sky Discovery status.
Dark Sky Discovery Sites:
Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre
Class: Milky Way
SQM Reading: 23.6
Description: The centre is endowed with a most spectacular night sky due to its remoteness, mountainous terrain and lack of light pollution.
Directions: NY 139 141. Proceed along forestry track alongside Ennerdale Water from Bowness Knott. Centre is the first property after two miles. Use turning circle at YHA.
Safety: There is no municipal lighting in the valley or at the centre other than that provided by our own generator. Visitors are advised to drive cautiously on narrow valley roads. Visitors are also advised to observe all site safety notices and carry a torch as the centres grounds are very dark.
Access: Free, open access to all walkers and cyclists. Vehicular access is by event and arrangement with the warden.