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Northumberland International Dark Sky Park hosts fifth anniversary celebration

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National Park star gazing event at Cawfields © Cain Scrimgeour

A fifth anniversary celebration of Northumberland’s International Dark Sky Park is being held on Monday 10 December from 1:15pm to 5pm at the Redesdale Arms in Rochester.

The event will be an opportunity for invited local business people and partners to find out about the successes of the last five years, including the economic benefits of Dark Skies tourism, updates from the Kielder Observatory and Northumberland Tourism and ongoing plans for people to discover the starscape from Redesdale.

As well as talks and presentations from the key partners, attendees will also have an opportunity to take part in a stargazing workshop, weather permitting.

The event has been jointly organised by Northumberland National Park Authority, Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust and Revitalising Redesdale Landscape Partnership.

Duncan Wise, Visitor Development & Marketing Manager for Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “Northumberland has the most pristine dark skies in England and they need to be protected from the effects of light pollution. It is a message that we instil with every stargazing event we host at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre.”

He added: “The developments that have taken place throughout the International Dark Sky Park and beyond is a result of the enthusiasm and dedication of many individuals and effective collaboration between organisations and local communities. Northumberland is well placed to benefit from its dark skies for many years to come.”

Lynn Turner, Director of Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said: “The development of Kielder Observatory and the designation of International Dark Sky Park status have been hugely beneficial to Kielder Water & Forest Park and wider Northumberland. There has been increasing public and media interest in Northumberland’s pristine dark skies and this has helped to raise the county’s profile and led to the creation of year-round opportunities for tourism businesses.”

“We are very pleased to be holding the Fifth Anniversary Celebration Event in Redesdale, where the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park status was launched back in 2013”, said Maria Hardy, from Revitalising Redesdale. “Redesdale has some of the darkest skies in Northumberland and stargazing is an attraction for people to take a mini-break here year round.”