With Cumbria boasting some of the darkest skies in the UK, businesses are being invited to a special event next week to explore how they can make the most of visitors’ growing interest in stargazing.
Cumbria Tourism is one of the partners exploring how businesses can benefit from the county’s famously dark skies, alongside Forestry England and Friends of the Lake District. Now an event on Monday 4 November (10am-midday) at Langdale Hotel & Spa will give tourism-related businesses the chance to hear more about the new opportunities that aspiring star-seekers could bring to areas like Cumbria.
Timed on the eve of Bonfire Night, it also comes amid the success of the North Pennines Stargazing Festival 2019, which is running from now until 3 November. More than thirty events are taking place during the festival, tied in with the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. Activities include pop-up planetarium shows, space-themed talks and stargazing, as well as a spectacular ‘Skywatch’ event at Talkin Tarn Country Park near Brampton which sold out more than two months in advance.
Forestry England’s Head of Recreation, Mark Holroyd says, “Cumbria is blessed with so many great places to experience truly dark skies and we want to encourage people to explore those places where you have the best views of the clear night sky, free of the light pollution in more urban areas. The upcoming event at Langdale will provide an opportunity to hear from speakers about Cumbria’s dark skies potential – for our visitor economy, local communities and our spectacular natural environment.”
As part of the event, Johanna Korndorfer from Friends of the Lake District will set out the background to International Dark Sky Reserve status, currently being explored by the Lake District National Park Partnership.
Guest speaker Duncan Wise, from Northumberland National Park Authority, will also be on hand to talk about the benefits achieved through Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. Designated in 2013, this has led to the development of new stargazing observatories and events, a growth in off-season tourism and educational programmes to promote science to young people.
Businesses can register their place at the event on Monday 4 November (10am-midday), at Langdale Hotel & Spa, by emailing Cumbria Tourism at [email protected]