Exmoor Dark Skies Festival fast approaching

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Excitement is rising as momentum gathers for the first ever Exmoor Dark Skies festival taking place during half term from 19 to 29 October. With some of the 35+ events laid on already sold out organisers are urging those interested to book tickets before it is too late.

Sponsored by Airband, the festival celebrates Exmoor’s status as Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve and one of the best places in the country for stargazing. The programme includes events aimed at all ages and levels of interest taking place at locations throughout the National Park. It has been receiving a high level of interest from families, amateur astronomers and many who value the exceptional quality of Exmoor’s dark sky.

Events range from outdoor activities such as wild swimming with glow sticks and guided night walks in search of nocturnal wildlife to all weather indoor activities such as astronomy talks and the space odyssey mobile planetarium offering spectacular 360-degree digital experiences of the world above.

Andrea Davis, Deputy Chairman of Exmoor National Park, will be opening the festival at Winsford Village Hall on 20 October where astronomer and presenter Will Gater will be talking about Exmoor’s dark skies and the magic of the Northern Lights and how occasionally they can be seen from dark sky sites like Exmoor. There will also be the premiere of a brand new film celebrating the National Park’s dark skies.

Katrina Munro, from Exmoor National Park, who is coordinating the festival, said “Bookings are going really well but there’s still plenty of opportunities to join in with events in and around the park such as the family astro-party at Wimbleball Lake, and the mobile planetarium sessions in Dulverton, Dunster and Lynton. I would encourage anyone wishing to attend events to book in advance to avoid disappointment”

Partner organisations are also holding events such as the Royal Photographic Society’s astro-photography talk in Dulverton and the Forestry Commission’s forest wildlife and stargazing walk. Other events include stargazing suppers, night swims and a children’s night bike ride.

Visit the National Park’s website for full details of all events and to make bookings. There is also a 24-page printed programme available from the National Park Centres at Dulverton, Dunster and Lynton.

Published: 27 September 2017

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Ailsa Stevens
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