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

Starry, Starry Skies

Oct 25, 2016
Many thanks to the Wessex Astronomical Society for attending last Friday's event..


On Friday 21st October at the New Remembrance Hall, Charlton, the Wessex Astronomical Society and Bob Mizon attended the AONB stargazing evening, with a chance to view the Orionids Meteor shower.

After an inspiring talk by Bob in the hall, everyone went outside to start looking at the sky.  Several of the Wessex Astronomical Society team were on hand to point out certain star constellations, and enthuse all those who had joined us for what was to be an evening to remember.

As soon as the hall and exterior lights were turned out, a collective gasp was heard as the night sky was able to be seen in all its glory.  The sheer number of stars and galaxies visible was awe inspiring, and we all had a chance to peer down a high powered telescope, as well as Bob pointing out interesting features in the sky.

Help ensure the dark starry skies of the AONB continue to be seen and appreciated

Dark night skies are one of the very special qualities of the Cranborne Chase AONB. National data continues to show the general loss of dark night skies across the country and an increasing risk of light pollution across the AONB.

In order to conserve and enhance the quality of our night skies the AONB's Management Plan 2014-2019 has a clear objective to apply for the prestigious Dark Night Sky status for the AONB.

How special are the skies of the AONB?

The Cranborne Chase AONB ranks 8th out of the 34 AONBs.  The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has carried out an in-depth study which show that 52% of Cranborne Chase AONB is in Band 1 – which is the darkest category.

How you can help

  - help to gain International Dark Sky Reserve status for Cranborne chase AONB!
Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NL375VD and take the Dark Sky Pledge if you’d like to support this work.  Sign up to our E-Bulletins to stay up to date with the latest news.  Find out more about this work: our-work/dark-night-skies/

What people are saying about the dark night skies of the AONB:


'A precious resource - I've cycled across Cranborne Chase at night and it was a rare and magical experience to have my way lit only by the moon for so long!'
'we all need more galactic gateways. Fingers crossed for a successful application...join the club!'
'As dark skies are getting increasingly rare, I would like to support one for Cranborne Chase, especially as I used to live in the Chase'
'Since moving to the area from a light-polluted city a few years ago I've come to love its dark night skies, and want to see them conserved and indeed enhanced!'
'I think it would be wonderful to have the AONB designated as a dark skies area, it's so good to be able to see the stars and we need to preserve this for future generations.'
'We had a fantastic evening at the Ansty Farm Shop star-gazing event - thank you'
'I have never seen so many stars in Britain before moving here'
'The dark skies in the AONB offered myself and others the chance to explore the stars somewhere fairly local to us. Hearing the additional benefits it would have on wildlife and to the local people it seems like a no-brainer.'
'Thanks to the stargazing event I learnt a lot about what we have in the AONB, and of course astronomy. Will look out for future events like this one!'
'A fantastic and timely ambition for this stunning AONB to have, thank you.'
'I hope one day everyone can enjoy the stunning beauty of a star filled sky. Where even easily recognisable constellations are hard to see amongst the stars that are rendered invisible by light pollution'
'They are amazing. There is nowhere else in southern England with such dark skies'
'Dark night skies are crucial for protected landscapes and tranquility'