The night sky has an extraordinary appeal for a wide diversity of people. It enthrals children and grandparents, men and women. It inspires poetry and science. Perhaps for these reasons, cultures across the world and throughout history have attached huge significance to the night sky. It therefore provides rich opportunities to inspire and engage people from diverse communities about their environment and their place within it.
Dark Sky Discovery is a national project for England, funded by Natural England, through which community groups and schools will be identifying the best local places for stargazing, as “Dark Sky Discovery Sites”. These sites will be local open spaces such as parks, gardens, playing fields or woodlands.
The programme is being led in nine English regions by astronomy and environmental organisations. While we are not seeking media coverage at this stage, we are informing national organisations about the project, particularly if they have members or properties that may wish to be directly involved. To do this, please contact the lead partner in the relevant region www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk.
Dan Hillier, Royal Observatory Edinburgh