• Cranborne Chase AONB Office, Rushmore Farm, Tinkley Bottom, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, SP5 5QA  Tel: 01725 517417


Feb 11, 2018
Find out more at our Annual Planning and Transportation Seminar


StarsACHIEVING tangible benefits from dark night skies will be the message delivered at the latest planning seminar organised by Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). A quintet of inspirational and distinguished speakers will reveal why dark night skies are vital for human and animal wellbeing, how a darker environment can lead to boundless benefits, and how you can help the AONB to achieve prestigious International Dark Sky Reserve status for the benefit of all.

Speakers include Professor Martin Morgan-Taylor, Associate Professor Leicester De Montfort Law School and Vice President International Dark Sky Association 2011-2013; Duncan Wise, Visitor Development & Marketing Manager Northumberland National Park Authority; Malcolm Mackness, former Director of Lighting Consultancy & Design Services Ltd; Bob Mizon, UK Coordinator, British Astronomical Association Campaign for Dark Skies, and Sean Beer, Senior Academic in the Faculty of Management, Department of Tourism and Hospitality.

The event, held on Tuesday 20 March at Dinton Village Hall, is being aimed at policy and development management planners, landscape architects, tourism and biodiversity officers, lighting engineers and community health officers in public service and commercial consultancy, together with developers and their agents, health practitioners, and community members and local and parish councillors.

The speakers and the speeches

Prof Martin Morgan-Taylor/Speech: Why are dark night skies important?

Martin Morgan-Taylor, Associate Professor Leicester De Montfort Law School and Vice President International Dark Sky Association 2011-2013, researches the legal impact of light pollution, namely the wasted carbon emissions and wasted money from wasted light, harm to human and animal health, as well as the loss of the night sky and the creation of dark sky places. He also acts as a consultant to Defra. He has received several awards for his dark sky work, including the Joy Griffiths Award (2007) and the Galileo Award (2011) for legal efforts to protect the night sky from light pollution.

Duncan Wise/Speech: Making it all happen

Duncan Wise is Visitor Development & Marketing Manager for Northumberland National Park Authority, responsible for destination marketing, visitor information, transport and travel and developing visitor experiences that are based on the Park’s special qualities. These include nature-based and heritage-tourism, cycling and walking and, more recently, dark skies. Duncan was the Authority’s lead officer on the joint collaboration with Kielder Water & Forest Park, securing the designation of International Dark Sky Park (Gold Tier) for both the National Park and most of Kielder Water & Forest Park in 2013. Since then he has worked with and supported local tourism businesses to make them more aware of the opportunities of developing astro-tourism experiences, and of promoting the installation of fully-shielded and appropriate outside lighting to minimise light pollution. Duncan is also a member of the International Dark Sky Association’s Dark Sky Places Committee.

Malcolm Mackness/Speech: Lightscape management Plans — what are they and how to make them work

Malcolm Mackness spent most of his early professional life in the public lighting departments of Leicester City, Leicestershire and Wiltshire. For 20 years he was county lighting engineer in Gloucestershire. He was always an advocate of good lighting design and for many years was involved with presenting lighting training for the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP). In 1998 he moved to the private sector, joining Jim Paterson as a partner at Lighting Consultancy & Design Services in Coventry. Malcolm subsequently worked with Jim on the first UK Dark Sky project in Galloway Forest and following that on many more Dark Sky projects in England, Scotland and Wales. Although now semi-retired, Malcolm, who has a BA(Hons) from the OU and is an Associate of the ILP and an Incorporated Engineer, is continuing to assist with the Cranborne Chase proposal.

Bob Mizon/Speech: The benefits of DNSs to wildlife, human health, carbon savings and tourism

Bob Mizon is a co-ordinator of the British astronomical Association’s Commission for Dark Skies, which aims to turn back the tide of light pollution that has seriously affected night skies for more than 50 years. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1985, and has been associated with the Wessex Astronomical Society in various offices for many years. In 2010 Bob, a former French teacher, was awarded the MBE for his work in astronomy and environmental education. He is a STEM* Ambassador, seeking opportunities to bring astronomy to adult and young people’s groups in the south. More than 136,000 people have experienced a tour of the universe via Bob’s mobile planetarium, which he takes into schools.

Sean Beer/Speech: Tourism and Dark Night Skies

Sean Beer is a Senior Academic in the Faculty of Management, Department of Tourism and Hospitality at Bournemouth University. This involves teaching, consultancy, research, publication and broadcasting. His principle research interests include rural business, society and development. Sean has been awarded a Rotary Foundation Scholarship, a Winston Churchill Fellowship and he is a Nuffield Scholar. He is also a regular commentator on rural and environmental matters on the radio and television.

The seminar runs from 9.30am to 4.15pm. Tickets cost £48 and include lunch and refreshments provided by local caterer Mary Yorke.

To attend, email: shirleymerrick@cranbornechase.org.uk who will email you a booking form.