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Dark night skies and stars

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Do you enjoy gazing at stars in dark night skies? We know our glampers do. We look at landscapes as far as the horizon but often forget to look up, up to the incredible array of stars in the expansive sky above. Our two shepherd's huts not only sit on the edge of our millpond feeding the mill's waterwheel, but also on the edge of Cranborne Chase AONB which late last year was designated an 'International Dark Sky Reserve'. The 14th of such reserves situated around the world. This designation is the culmination of huge amounts of work over a ten year period and a series of stringent checks. To maintain this exclusive status the AONB must now continually improve our dark skies; for instance schemes are being developed with schools, businesses, parishes and landowners and Wiltshire council (in which most of the AONB lies) is upgrading street lighting. This long-term planning will make a significant contribution to achieving non-polluting good lighting and protect natural nighttime environments.

Did you know that many birds and animals are affected by stray light at night which affects not only their breeding cycles but feeding habits too? By controlling stray light, bats, moths, birds and other nocturnal creatures are able to thrive. At night the countryside seems to be yours and yours alone and wildlife that is seldom glimpsed emerges to startle and thrill. From our shepherd's huts not only can glampers enjoy incredible skies but easily take night walks up to Fontmell and Melbury Downs (we have local maps to lend) where expanses of sky are yours to enjoy at the summit of Melbury Hill. One of the highest points in Dorset it once formed part of a chain of Armada signal beacons, used by sea farers, that stretched between London and Plymouth. Instead of travelling further west to Exmoor, why not come and discover north Dorset's dark skies and another ancient navigational tool ~ constellations.

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