International recognition for its dark skies has been bestowed on Cranborne chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It is the 14th reserve in the world to join the exclusive club of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Protected Areas.

“Some people are lucky enough to recognise ‘the Plough’, but for others, seeing stars and their constellations is often impossible because of light pollution. Here in Cranborne Chase we can see the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy, if the clouds allow,” said Linda Nunn, Director of Cranborne Chase AONB.

Bob Mizon, who leads the Commission for Dark Skies in the UK and played a major supporting role in the application, added: “You can’t fail to be amazed by the show the night sky puts on when you’re in Cranborne Chase AONB on a clear night. This dark sky status helps to keep it that way for future generations.”

First stargazing evening of the season is in Damerham on Sunday, October 27, Email to book a place, or call 01725 517417.

For more information, visit the International Dark-Sky Association website.

Pictured: King Alfreds Tower, Stourhead, Wiltshire. Photo: Paul Howell, Pictor Images

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