North Yorkshire’s two nationwide parks named worldwide darkish sky reserves | Yorkshire holidays

The Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North York Moors have been described as the darkest places in the world, making it the darkest place in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. In addition, the two parks cover 1,396 sq miles, and were completed in five years.

Dark storage facilities are provided by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), the world’s largest light detection control system, based in Tucson, Arizona. In order to be selected, the community must make a concerted effort to secure its accommodation and demonstrate strong support for the community, promote beautiful dark lighting and streamline educational activities.

There are 16 other dark areas in the world, including five in Britain: Brecon Beacons park, Cranborne Chase, Exmoor National park, Moore’s Reserve in South Downs National Park and Snowdonia National Park. In the north of England there is also the world’s darkest black park in Northumberland. The storage area is also required for the same, but the storage area should be at least 270 sq km in size and be made of deep darkness surrounded by a belt with people working together to protect the central darkness. At a distance of 572 sq miles, Northumberland’s dark subtropical park is less than half the size of the Yorkshire National Park.

A painting by the Milky Way, Norber Ridge is a stone barn in the National Yorkshire Dales park.A painting by the Milky Way, Norber Ridge is a stone barn in the National Yorkshire Dales park. Photo: Matt Gibson

Jim Bailey, chairman of the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “The so-called global dark park is the end of great commitment and solidarity, and it will continue as we encourage more people to think about our nightlife environment. to improve tourism abroad, the Moors of North York appear to have a bright and uncertain future. “

We hope that having a dark park will help the two parks improve their celestial functions. Since 2016 North Yorkshire has hosted the annual Dark Night festival in the two parks every February, which has helped to elevate the region’s reputation as a star-studded tourist destination. Each year the festival donates more than $ 500,000 to the local economy, and in 2019 the festival was attended by more than 8,000 people, twice the number who attended 2018.

Milky Way shooting, Ravenscar North York Moors.Milky Way shooting, Ravenscar, North York Moors. Photo: Steve Bell

The festival features over 100 events in 17 days, including dining-and-see events, running in the dark and starfish safaris. This year for the first time, both parks also hosted mid-October events.

North Yorkshire businessmen are receiving the message. Colin and Vicky Simmons, owners of Fox and Hounds in Ainthorpe, have been working with the Darkness festival for the past 18 months and have been involved in reducing light pollution in North York’s Moors by installing new lanterns around their property. . Vicky said: “Having a dark place is a wonderful story. We hope it will bring visitors from other countries to the area, especially in the cold winter months when the clouds are very nice.”

Six ways to meet the dark clouds of Yorkshire

Enter a star-studded safari in Dalby Forest
The 3,440-hectare Dalby Forest is one of the three skies in the North York Moors, all of which have a “Milky Way” history – meaning it is possible to see the galaxy with the naked eye here. There are two viewing areas in Dalby (systematically available) as well as child-friendly tour guides run by Hidden Horizons. During a difficult period, the company sets up a planetary monitoring program to explore space.
• £ 15pp,

Start Sutton Bank in the evening

Milky Way over Helmsley, Yorkshire, UK.Milky Way above Helmsley. Photo: Steve Bell

Sutton Bank’s massive explosion is one of Moor North York’s best-looking locations, and the night is as spectacular as a star balcony. It is easily accessible, has a parking lot near the main road between Thirsk and Helmsley, and has a safe passage for all ages. Come in the evening time and you will soon be able to go to a place that is not polluted by light, which is open.

Try astrophotography on the moors
Steve Bell’s iconic workshops give stars a chance to cool down in the night sky instead of just watching them go by. Four-hour private tutorials are best for a small group ($ 200; over four). In 2021 Bell is also running a six-week special North York Moors (£ 125pp), a day and night recording moor. The first two courses of the year have already been sold out, but the days of April, August and September fall in the months of the year when the Milky Way is most visible (between March and April and then August and October).

Save the dark places of heaven

Fox and Hound in Ainthorpe near Danby, YorkshireFox and Hound in Ainthorpe near Danby

Using DIY stars, the parks of the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors promoted a place of pure darkness. One is a 17th-century publisher in Fox and Hounds in Ainthorpe, a town near Danby. For astronomers, there are night torches, binoculars and sky maps nearby: then they can stumble into the pastures around the house and look at the top of the ink.
• From £ 83 B&B,

Eat under the stars in a remote pod
Above the Yorkshire Dales, in the narrow streets where you do not want to drive at night (book room) there is the Tan Hill Inn – the tallest and highest point in Britain. On the Pennine Way trail, it is an ancient ornament worn by miners and one of the darkest registered places in the Yorkshire Dales. This year, the owners have added legumes to the heat and heat and music, while guests can have dinner and drink in the air at night.
• £ 130 B&B,

Put the rug on the Dales farm

Ideas for Pry House Farm B&B in Upper Swaledale.Pry House Farm is located in the middle of a picturesque area and under a canopy. Photo: Ian Short Photography

In the Swaledale dormitory, a five-minute drive from Wensleydale Creamery, Pry House Farm B&B is one of the newest members in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Stay in the dining room or in the pastor’s house. When the sun goes down, the darkness covers the surrounding grass and waterfalls, and the owners offer folding chairs, carpets, bottles of hot drinks, special red flashlights, astronomical books, and binoculars for guests to marvel at.
• £ 72 B&B,

The next Dark Skies party walks through the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors parks 12-28 February 2021

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