The short film was created by photographer Michael Sinclair who, over the course of several months, painstakingly captured countless hours of time-lapse footage of the dark skies above the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Commissioned by Brecon Beacons Park Society and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, the film underlines how dark the night sky is above the National Park and is part of their joint bid to gain International Dark Skies Reserve accreditation.
Introduced with the rich tones of Brecon Male Choir bass baritone Edwin
Roderick, the two minute short film features iconic scenes from around the
National Park transitioning from familiar sunshine into darkness, when the skies burst into life.
Charles Henderson, Vice Chairman of the Brecon Beacons Park Society, said: “We’ve now completed our lighting surveys and so far the support we’ve had from communities in the National Park has been excellent. We’re extremely grateful for their co-operation and we’re hoping that this new video will encourage more people to enjoy our deep dark nights.
“Our Dark Skies launch video shows just how dark and splendid the night sky is here in the Brecon Beacons. The film shows how bright the stars shine when we’re all usually tucked up in bed, and we hope to encourage more people to take up stargazing here in our wonderful National Park.”
Punch Maughan, Director for Brecon Beacons Tourism, added: “Astro- tourism and an interest in all things sparkly has been a growing trend over the last few years and we are delighted that there is something more to encourage people to not just come for the day in the Brecon Beacons but to spend the night here as well. Some
businesses have already stepped up to the challenge and have telescopes and sky maps to help their guests orientate themselves with the night sky.”
Ruth Coulthard, Funding Development Manager for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “There are so many benefits to us gaining accreditation, which is the reason we are actively pursuing this designation with the Park Society. Not only will it give deserved recognition to one of our most special features, it will help reduce light pollution in the future, reduce C02 emissions, have many benefits to wildlife and give a real boost to our tourism economy. In addition, with the education and community events programme we hope to develop, we will be able to increase understanding and enjoyment of our wonderful dark skies to residents and visitors – now and in the future”.
Only a handful of international destinations have been granted the highly prestigious Dark Skies award, which would create new opportunities for tourism and the local economy, as well as protect the region’s magical night skies for future generations. A lighting survey is currently being conducted in the National Park as part of the ongoing accreditation process.
Residents living within the Brecon Beacons National Park are being encouraged to get involved in the initiative and see how reducing their light pollution could save them money on their energy bills, enhance their own views of the night sky and help support the drive to become Wales’ first International Dark Sky Reserve.
The Brecon Beacons National Park Dark Skies project has been made possible thanks to generous funding from the Brecon Beacons Trust and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund, along with collaboration from the University of Glamorgan, Dark Sky Wales and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales.
You can view the incredible new Dark Skies short film at www.breconbeacons.org/darkskies.
For more information about light pollution or to support the Dark Skies initiative visit www.breconbeacons.org/darkskies,
or email, or by telephoning Ruth Coulthard on 01874 620 481.