International Dark Sky Week 2020

Kielder is one of the best places in the world to see the stars because of the efforts made to protect our dark skies – we are one of two observatories in England in protected dark skies and we are sited in England’s first and largest Gold Tier International Dark Sky Park. It is championed by the Northumberland Dark Skies Steering Group, a partnership that includes Northumberland National Park Authority, Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, Forestry England, Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society, Northumberland County Council, Northumberland Tourism Ltd, North Pennines AONB Partnership and the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership.

It's vital to have places protected from light pollution, a common term referring to artificial light that shines where it is neither wanted nor needed. Artificial light can result in declining insect populations and impacting negatively on other species that rely on these insects for food or pollination. Artificial light can cause birds that migrate to wander off course, or to migrate too early or too late. We too adhere to a circadian rhythm and artificial light can disrupt that cycle making it difficult for us to sleep well.

19th-26th April is International Dark Sky Week and we will be celebrating it along with our friends and partners, featuring our favourite dark skies from around the world.

Kielder is a very special place – while it is frustrating for us that we cannot welcome you to the Observatory itself at this point, we look forward to seeing you there as soon as we can!