K-Tec

Europe's first "dark sky park"

  • artyfarty
  • artyfarty's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Main Sequence
  • Main Sequence
  • Posts: 172
  • Thank you received: 10

Europe's first "dark sky park" was created by artyfarty

I know it's not strictly about Irish dark skies but I think it's of interest to the readers of this section, fee free to move it if needs be.

From the car park in the foothills of the Range of the Awful Hand, it is a short walk to what may be the darkest place in the country. Drive up here after sunset and you are unlikely to set eyes on another soul, yet the site is famous among a small group of enthusiasts who come here in the black of night to stand, watch and wonder.

The patch of ground in the imposing row of mountains is surrounded by 300 square miles of moorland, woods and lochs that form the rugged wilderness of Galloway Forest Park in southern Scotland, and in a few weeks, officers at the forest will take steps towards making it Europe's first official dark sky park.

Full story here

Anybody interested in a trip?
13 years 10 months ago #75765

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 88
  • Thank you received: 1

Replied by calchas on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

I'd be interested, Had been thinking of a trip to Keilder. Galloway may be warmer (relatively :) ).

Looks like an easy trip across from the north to Stranraer. Should be places to camp easily.

Clear skies
Steve
13 years 10 months ago #75772

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

Excellent!
Thanks for the heads up on this.
The place looks awesome and easy to get to.

I did up a google earth place mark for it.
bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/download.php?Number=1277794

as seen from the view in this picture:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_of_the_Awful_Hand

I suspect if you went off road you may need to bookmark this page:
www.gallowaymrt.org.uk/public/galloway.shtm

Are there any nearby Scottish clubs running anything in the area this year I wonder?
It'd be worth checking out.
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
Last edit: 13 years 10 months ago by Frank Ryan.
13 years 10 months ago #75775

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

When are we going!? :woohoo:
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
Last edit: 13 years 10 months ago by Frank Ryan.
13 years 10 months ago #75776

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 9637
  • Thank you received: 544

Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

I'd be up for that!

Read the full article and found it quite interesting. In only a short space of time (since the formation of the IDA) awareness has really been keen in the idea of preserving dark skies. To actually have a park dedicated to it for astronomical adventures is cool. It is probably like an untapped resource. After all, European astronomers head to the Mid-west of America and the Australian outback to get dark skies for astrophotography. Now this place is closer to home!

I wonder how Terry Moseley's fixed...

Seanie.
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
Last edit: 13 years 10 months ago by Seanie_Morris.
13 years 10 months ago #75778

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

Yip, and they go there coz they are gonna get near 100% clear skies.
You have to have a good guarentee of good weather.
I've seen other clubs organize trips to Mt. Tiede and the like.
heck, some of us here went to Mt. Parnon.
Now THAT was dark!
It's not that hard to do, you just want to really want to go!
If this place is as good as they make out the only thing to
worry about is the weather.
It'd make for an good trip anyway.
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
13 years 10 months ago #75782

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • michaeloconnell
  • michaeloconnell's Avatar
  • Offline
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2009
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2009
  • Posts: 6319
  • Thank you received: 298

Replied by michaeloconnell on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

Yea, getting there is easy-peasy.
It's the unpredictable nature of the weather is the main problem.
Sounds like it would be a nice place to rent a cottage in the summer/autumn anyway.
Should be good scenery there too.

Michael.
13 years 10 months ago #75785

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • artyfarty
  • artyfarty's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Main Sequence
  • Main Sequence
  • Posts: 172
  • Thank you received: 10

Replied by artyfarty on topic Re:Europe's first

michaeloconnell wrote:

Sounds like it would be a nice place to rent a cottage in the summer/autumn anyway.
Should be good scenery there too.


As for accommodation have a look at this: click here

And the local club details are here: Wigtownshire Astronomical Society
13 years 10 months ago #75786

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:Europe's first

I did a quick check.
Ryanair fly into Prestwick and at the moment
you can book a return from Shannon including taxes for a tenner.
3 days car hire for would be 100
A Single/Twin Room & meals for 3 nights at that place would cost 100.
Factor in petrol and you could do a 3 day visit for around 300 Euro.
Less if you went for 2 nights.

I looked at the ferry from Belfast to Stranrar
which runs quite often and may suit those up north.
I'd think about driving over but you would want to make it a
week to be worthwhile.
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
13 years 10 months ago #75804

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 9637
  • Thank you received: 544

Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

So, what dates have you got planned for the IFAS Dark Skies Trek to Galloway Frank?

;)
Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.
13 years 10 months ago #75809

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

Anytime around the New Moon and I'm game!


26th Jan

25th Feb

26th March

25th April

31st May

29th June

28th July

27th Aug

26th Sept

26th Oct

24th Nov

24th Dec
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
13 years 10 months ago #75815

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 44
  • Thank you received: 4

Replied by Conn Buckley on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

This weekend's Sunday Times Travel supplement has an article on Galloway Forest park and the author's (Jeremy Lazell)unsuccessful attempt to do some observing there .. rain!
He gives the usual info/cost/contact details and goes on to say that while Galloway is the only Dark Sky park in Britain that 'on the Philip's Dark Skies map it is not the only grey patch'.
He gives detail of a few other 'grey patches' in England/Wales and interestingly gives a good plug for 'grey patches' in the West Of Ireland.
He gives the Kerry Astronomy Club web address and mentions Ladies View car park 'for fantastic open-sky views'. He also gives SAC web address 'that holds events on the wild,abandoned Burren which has fantastically dark 360-degree views'.
Sorry, I did not manage to find a link to the article.
Conn Buckley.
13 years 5 days ago #82276

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 8851
  • Thank you received: 237

Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

Interesting site to visit, I've heard of it before and is a well known dark area.
As per usual in the north atlantic, the big variable is the weather. You think we get rain here??, its actually worse in Scotland.
Have you seen this link,
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_of_the_Awful_Hand
What a cool looking area, not a tree in sight, I could stay up there in a tent for a week if the weather was reasonable, B&B otherwise.
I'd be game if others were going. :rock:
although it breaks my golden rules on holidaying/observing.

Never go anywhere for observing if its wetter, further north and looks green on a satellite image. :silly:


Jeremy Lazell sure as hell picked a bad weekend for observing :laugh:
Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor
Last edit: 13 years 4 days ago by dave_lillis.
13 years 4 days ago #82280

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

Well spotted Conn.
Here is the online text:
www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/destina...null&offset=0&page=1

It's great to see Ireland getting a mention.
I think it's time to plan that trip we were discussing above!!
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
13 years 3 days ago #82301

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 4173
  • Thank you received: 181

Replied by albertw on topic Re:Europe's first

Sometimes I despair.

Galloway recently became the first Dark Sky park in Europe. Now, we have darker skies in parts of this country and better weather. But there is more enthusiasm here to go on a trip to Galloway than there is to do something like work to get an dark skies reserve here. Then again this is a forum where the is a thread advocating light polluted skies for astronomy.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
12 years 11 months ago #82366

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 353
  • Thank you received: 337

Replied by Paul Evans on topic Re:Europe's first

I've approached the NI Forestry Commission with a view to getting the same status for Glenariff Forest Park in NI. I'd suggest you guys in the South probably have even darker places you could nominate.

Paul.
IAA Webmaster, IFAS Rep and Past President
12 years 11 months ago #82368

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Neill
  • Neill's Avatar
  • Offline
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2011
  • IFAS Astronomer of the Year 2011
  • Posts: 665
  • Thank you received: 792

Replied by Neill on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

Indeed, what about the Burren as just one example?
Linda: "All in all, this is one day Mittens the kitten won't soon forget."
Morbo: "Kittens give Morbo gas."
12 years 11 months ago #82369

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 4557
  • Thank you received: 76

Replied by dmcdona on topic Re:Europe's first

albertw wrote:

Sometimes I despair.

Galloway recently became the first Dark Sky park in Europe. Now, we have darker skies in parts of this country and better weather. But there is more enthusiasm here to go on a trip to Galloway than there is to do something like work to get an dark skies reserve here. Then again this is a forum where the is a thread advocating light polluted skies for astronomy.


Albert - I'm sure that if ILPAC came up with a couple of candidates here in Ireland you would have the full support of all the folks on this forum. If there is anything we can do to engage in such an exercise, we're all ears and we'd be fully supportive.

I think the thread you refer to was hardly advocating light pollution - perhaps one or two individuals expressed a positive opinion on light pollution but that's hardly indicative of this forum in general and the contributors as a whole supporting such a view...

Cheers
Dave
12 years 11 months ago #82371

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 4173
  • Thank you received: 181

Replied by albertw on topic Re:Europe's first

dmcdona wrote:Albert - I'm sure that if ILPAC came up with a couple of candidates here in Ireland you would have the full support of all the folks on this forum. If there is anything we can do to engage in such an exercise, we're all ears and we'd be fully supportive.


I'm sure there would be no shortage of support Dave. It's the going out and doing the work bit that there is a shortage of. Really we need to get to the stage where all amateur astronomers are out doing their bit, advocating better lighting, showing the dangers of bad lighting and getting some change and where the like of ILPAC and the IDA are supporting them.

Some of you organise star parties and observing sessions in or near national parks - can you talk to the local rangers about light pollution? I'd be happy to facilitate a conference all with the key people behind the Galloway project and parks officials here if we have some interest from the parks here.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
Last edit: 12 years 11 months ago by albertw.
12 years 11 months ago #82668

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 4173
  • Thank you received: 181

Replied by albertw on topic Re:Europe's first

dmcdona wrote:
I think the thread you refer to was hardly advocating light pollution - perhaps one or two individuals expressed a positive opinion on light pollution but that's hardly indicative of this forum in general and the contributors as a whole supporting such a view...


True, however the amateur astronomy community in Ireland seems very apathetic about doing anything with regard to light pollution.
Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section
www.darksky.ie/
12 years 11 months ago #82669

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • carlobeirnes
  • carlobeirnes's Avatar
  • Offline
  • IFAS Sponsor & Astronomer of the Year 2013
  • IFAS Sponsor & Astronomer of the Year 2013
  • Posts: 1424
  • Thank you received: 147

Replied by carlobeirnes on topic Re:Europe's first

albertw wrote:

dmcdona wrote:Albert - I'm sure that if ILPAC came up with a couple of candidates here in Ireland you would have the full support of all the folks on this forum. If there is anything we can do to engage in such an exercise, we're all ears and we'd be fully supportive.


I'm sure there would be no shortage of support Dave. It's the going out and doing the work bit that there is a shortage of. Really we need to get to the stage where all amateur astronomers are out doing their bit, advocating better lighting, showing the dangers of bad lighting and getting some change and where the like of ILPAC and the IDA are supporting them.

Some of you organise star parties and observing sessions in or near national parks - can you talk to the local rangers about light pollution? I'd be happy to facilitate a conference all with the key people behind the Galloway project and parks officials here if we have some interest from the parks here.


I agree with you on this one Albert. Getting support is great but getting people off their backsides is another thing. The government/politicians/councils don’t seem to give a rat’s ass about the problem of light pollution in this country.

This just sums it up
Carl O’Beirnes,
Scopes and Space Ltd,
Unit A8 Airside Enterprise Centre,
Swords, Co Dublin,
Ireland.
www.scopesandspace.ie/
www.facebook.com/scopesandspace
twitter.com/ScopesandSpace
www.youtube.com/user/ScopesandSpace
Last edit: 12 years 11 months ago by carlobeirnes.
12 years 11 months ago #82679

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:Europe's first

albertw wrote:
Some of you organise star parties and observing sessions in or near national parks - can you talk to the local rangers about light pollution? I'd be happy to facilitate a conference all with the key people behind the Galloway project and parks officials here if we have some interest from the parks here.[/quote]

When I was doing the initial digging for the Burren Starparty
I spoke to the people in Shannon Development and also
the rangers at the park and explained all about Galloway etc.
I went so far as to show the locals some of the photos of the
Milky Way I had taken in Greece a year before to show them
the benefits.
I also spoke to the attendees on the night of the observing up in the Burren
at the Caherconnel Ring Fort media centre about the importance
of keeping the parks skies dark and said it was akin to
conservation.
The locals there really got behind it and went 'lights out' for the night
as some of the board
members here that were there on the night can tell you - It was
great to see - Apart from the FOG! : blink:

In fact,
when we go up there now I ring the owners of the centre
and they kindly switch off the security lights and this
makes a huge improvement.
They are really helpful people and we are lucky they
understand us.


Anyway - it's a great start and I'm sure there would be room
for improvement.
If you have any strategy or ideas about how to go forward
Albert - just give me a mail or a ring..
I'd be more than happy to see what we could do.
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
12 years 11 months ago #82718

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 757
  • Thank you received: 10

Replied by jeyjey on topic Re:Europe's first

Frank & Albert --

It only now occurs to me that An Taisce owns land within the Burren National Park, which gives us some influence in the park's operation. I'm sure we'd be more than happy to support a proposal to make the Burren National Park a Dark Sky Park.

I'm not very familiar with the area, though. Are there good viewing places within the park itself? (I know the star party is held a bit outside of the park.)

-- Jeff (National Secretary, An Taisce).

(An Taisce also own land adjoining Glenveagh National Park in Donegal, which might give us some leverage there too.)
Nikon 18x70s / UA Millennium                              Colorado:
Solarscope SF70 / TV Pronto / AP400QMD             Coronado SolarMax40 DS / Bogen 055+3130
APM MC1610 / Tak FC-125 / AP1200GTO               Tak Mewlon 250 / AP600EGTO
12 years 11 months ago #82720

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 563
  • Thank you received: 27

Replied by darragh on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

Just a few thoughts from my experince with wildlife photography....
Some of the wildlife organisation like BirdWatch Ireland, the Irish Wildlife Trust and the National Parks and Wildlife service could be approached about setting up dark sky areas as light pollution affects wildlife as well.
It's a known problem in some bird species like Manx Shearwater who use the full moon to fledge but can fledge at the wrong time of the year by confusing light pollution with the full moon.
All of these organisations have a mandate for wildlife conservation

Darragh
12 years 11 months ago #82721

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

  • Posts: 3298
  • Thank you received: 57

Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:Europe's first "dark sky park"

Interesting!
I can safely say I could arrange a talk
on light pollution in the Caherconnell Centre
with the help of the owners.
I also have a contact in Burren Beo and they do monthly
talks as do the walking club.
The people in this area from my experience are
very approachable and helpful.

I'm open to maybe getting the ball rolling here
if there was a plan.
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
12 years 11 months ago #82731

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.086 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum