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CRANBORNE CHASE AONB TEAM RECOGNISED FOR DARK SKIES WORK
LINDA Nunn, director of the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), has been presented with the Joy Griffiths Award by the British Astronomical Association’s Commission for Dark Skies (CfDS). Cranborne Chase AONB is bidding to become the UK’s first AONB to achieve International Dark Sky Reserve status – to date there are just 11 areas in the world with this unique accolade that is bestowed by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA).
Linda and the team have been working tirelessly to promote the exceptionally dark night skies of the Cranborne Chase AONB, one of the most valuable assets of the 380 square mile area, as well as its atmospheric star-gazing spots and what star gazers are able to see on a clear night. The team recently launched a website (www.chasingstars.org.uk) that also lists stargazing events, boasts information on simple steps to prevent light pollution – which can have devastating effects on birds and wildlife – and tips on how best to enjoy star-gazing in the area.
Bob Mizon, co-ordinator at the CfDS, who presented Linda with the award, said: “Cranborne Chase AONB is an example of an organisation that has made its dark night skies a priority. It is heartening to see that it constantly has stars on its mind. Cranborne Chase AONB is accessible to large numbers of people, while Ansty, which is located within the central belt of the AONB, is the darkest recorded area within south central England. Anyone going to see the stars in the Cranborne Chase AONB definitely won’t be disappointed.”
Linda Nunn said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award. It is a testament to the hard work the team has put into this project, although we are all aware that, as far as the IDA bid is concerned, there is still more work to do. I would urge anyone unsure how to light their home to consult our website or get in touch. We will be happy to help.”
Previous recipients of the Joy Griffiths Award include Emma Marrington, light pollution campaign officer at the CPRE. Joy Griffiths was the CfDS’s long-standing Somerset officer who battled tirelessly to preserve and improve the night sky in her locality before she lost her battle with the effects of a serious stroke in 2006.
• The picture shows Linda Nunn (centre), director of the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, receiving the Joy Griffiths Award from Bob Mizon (right), co-ordinator, Commission for Dark Skies (CfDS), and Howard Lawrence (left), committee member of the CfDS.