Snowdonia National Park’s vast expanses of undisturbed landscape is one of its unique qualities. These landscapes see little to no light pollution allowing for truly exceptional dark skies.
Snowdonia’s Dark Skies
The dark skies of Snowdonia is a vital part of the National Park.
Snowdonia National Park is one of 18 International Dark Sky Reserves in the world.
Spending time under dark skies can improve our health and wellbeing
60% of plants and wildlife depend on darkness to survive
What is a Dark Sky Reserve?
Dark Sky Reserves are designated areas where there is little to no light pollution and the quality of the night air is outstanding. These are prestigious designations awarded only by the International Dark Sky Association.
What you’ll see
On a clear night in Snowdonia you can see the Milky Way, major constellations and shooting stars.
Named after a hunter in Greek mythology, Orion is one of the most recognisable constellations in the world.
Also known as The Pleiades, this small constellation can be seen by following the angle of Orion’s Belt upwards to sky.
The Plough is one of the most recognisable shapes in the night sky. It looks like a saucepan and can be seen to the east of the North Star.
The North Star
The most famous star in the night sky. It ranks as the 50th brightest star in the night sky and can be found near The Plough.
The Milky Way
A galaxy that looks like a hazy band of light stretching across the sky. Our solar system is part of the Milky Way.
Dark Skies and wildlife
Truly dark skies, without artificial light such as street lights, is incredibly important to the National Park’s wildlife.
Bats Bats are nocturnal mammals. They hunt and feed during the night and sleep during the day. Strong light during the night confuses some bat species that are sensitive to light. They think that night is day and to avoid being hunted, they don’t feed.
Owls Owls prey on mice and rodents who tend to be active during darkness. Owls have incredibly sophisticated eyes that allow them to see and hunt prey in complete darkness.
Birds Many birds use the sun, moon and stars to navigate from place to place. Artificial light can confuse them and disrupt their migrations.
Protecting Snowdonia’s Dark Skies
We can all play a part in protecting Snowdonia’s Dark Skies.
Use lights only when needed
Make sure that outside lights are used only when needed. Using lighting that activates with motion detection can be helpful.
Try to point lights downwards
Pointing outside lights downwards towards the ground will lessen the effect it has on wildlife which depend on dark skies.
Only use lights in areas that need it
Try to avoid using decorative lights and only use lighting in areas that need it.
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