West Cornwall Dark Skies Update

Posted on: 25th July 2020

The map above shows the Core and Buffer Zones we had hoped to get Designated and protected

West Cornwall Dark Skies update is that we have had a bit of a set back after submitting our Dossier to achieve Dark Sky Reserve status, for feedback.

It seems that email exchanges between the team here and the team in Arizona had been at cross purposes, mainly because how we do things here and the scale of our landscape, even County/ Duchy, is so different to that in the States. Although the map above, with scale, had been submitted and approved for us to go forward with, when the committee out there realised that it was not an area of 700km2, we were told there was no way we could progress with that particular application. However, we can use what we have done to progress towards a Dark Sky Park Designation, albeit that can only be granted to a designated special landscape; so we can only submit the West Penwith Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the green area around the tip of Cornwall, shown above.

The Milky Way over St Michael’s Mount, taken by Chris Colyer, supporter of our Dark Skies bid

In these difficult COVID times, we need to get some Outreach and Education programmes going so we are putting our thinking caps on. An idea that looks as if partners want to pursue is a Sky At Night photography competition. As soon as we have worked up the details, I will be getting them out far and wide, with your help. We will likely run it in the autumn when our dark skies are even better.

I would also like to hear from schools within the AONB because I could probably arrange for you to have some input on Dark Skies, their benefits and even the magic of the stars and space, if schools could accommodate that. I can probably get this as a virtual or distance learning package, as I know schools will be reluctant to invite people in.