Calling all stargazers - the Great Fen has received Dark Sky Discovery Designation, only the third area in the East of England . . .
Not many places these days are free from light pollution, but the Great Fen has been awarded the designation of a Dark Sky Discovery Site by the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC). Two areas of the Great Fen - The Wildlife Trust Countryside Centre and the Great Fen Information Point (on the B660 between Holme and Ramsey St Mary’s ) are places where people can see the Milky Way on clear nights, joining a select few of only 100 Dark Sky Discovery Sites nationally - and only the third in the East of England.
The Great Fen has seen many changes in recent years as it is gradually transformed - with few towns and villages locally keeping light pollution levels in the area relatively low, the huge skies are now officially identified as a great accessible place to view the stars at night. STFC, the UK’s leading funder of astronomy research and run the Dark Sky Discovery Network, made the designations, putting both sites in the ‘Milky Way’ category, which can be seen from the Great Fen on a clear night.
Dark sky at Great Fen by Guy Pilkington
Kate Carver, Great Fen Project Manager said: ‘The Great Fen Project Partners want visitors and local people to be able to enjoy every aspect of the natural world in the Great Fen, the night skies as well as wildlife on the ground. This important designation will help the Great Fen remain a special place now and in the future, and we look forward to welcoming stargazers old and young, and exploring the two Great Fen Dark Sky Discovery Sites with them.’
Aiden Lonergan, Natural England Area Manager, said: ‘The Great Fen is a really special place – perhaps England’s most important landscape scale restoration project, and we are delighted that as well as the wonderful wildlife and nature there, the quality of the night sky has also now been recognized.’