Dark Skies Cumbria

Light up February with a spectacular array of online events celebrating the wonders of our night sky

Live events over 17 evenings in February give you the opportunity to explore our dark skies with astronomers, astrophotographers, authors, filmmakers, lighting and design professionals, performers, poets and outdoor adventurers.

Book Now for individual event information and booking options. We've also produced this handy little leaflet which you can download as a reminder of what's in a line-up which we think is out of this world!

(View / Download Festival Line-Up - pdf)

Saving Our Night Skies

Cumbria's dark skies allow us to see the natural wonder of the stars, but are also critical for the health wildlife and our own natural well-being. Sadly light pollution in Cumbria is increasing each year, threatening to obscure our view of the stars and blinding and confusing animals so they can’t feed or find a mate. We need urgent action now to stop light pollution. Stargazers, photographers, wildlife lovers and local communities… please help.


Or you can give by text to 70085. Just message DARKSKIES along with your chosen donation amount (eg DARKSKIES 5 to donate £5). Standard message rates apply.

The Lake District and Cumbria offers some of the most spectacular and precious skyscapes in England and we want you to join us on an interstellar adventure. Download our Dark Sky Discovery Pack and get started today!

7pm Monday 15 February

Good Lighting – Ask the Panel Question and Answer session

Lighting science is a complex, evolving field. Want to know more about Dark Sky friendly lighting? Need advice on addressing lighting pollution? We’ve assembled a diverse, knowledgeable and passionate field of lighting experts who will shed light on the burning issues you need advice on. Put your questions to the Panel, at this free event, it will be an illuminating evening!

Panel members: Jess Gallacher Institute of Lighting Professionals,
Lee Gunner Director of
Light Planning and Design Ltd Consultancy,
Ian Harker Lighting Manager at Cumbria County Council and previously lighting engineer at Consultants Stainton Design Limited, and Bob Mizon coordinator of the British Astronomical Association’s Commission for Dark Skies. In the Chair will be Cumbria Dark Skies Project Officer, Jack Ellerby. 

Jess Gallacher is responsible for Engagement and Communications at the Institution of Lighting Professionals – a charity which exists to share knowledge that helps to light the world in a way that’s better for people and the planet.

Ian Harker is the Lighting Manager for Cumbria County Council with over thirty years’ experience in the design, specification and management of street lighting installations. He is a member of the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP). He has worked on a variety of national projects from major motorway upgrades, architectural lighting schemes to the smallest residential developments, as well as lighting installations on World Heritage Sites. Since returning to Cumbria County Council in 2013, he has been responsible for reviewing lighting policy and procedures, including lighting requirements for new developments and has overseen the programme to convert the Council’s obsolete street lighting stock to LED.

Lee Gunner is a passionate and recognised lighting designer with over 25 years’ experience in the lighting design industry. Alongside his passion for the control of light in the natural environment, Lee ensures the use of the correct technologies and light characteristics to enhance a space, to reinforce architectural aspiration and to promote the visual volume through perception and experience. Lee is a recognised figure within the lighting industry, part of the judging panel at the recent national Lighting Awards and regularly attends and contributes towards the future of and the knowledge pool within the industry.

Bob Mizon is best known in the scientific and environmental community as the co-ordinator of the British Astronomical Association’s Commission for Dark Skies, which aims to turn back the tide of light pollution that has seriously affected our view of the stars over the last sixty years. Glare, light intrusion and skyglow have become the norm nowadays, a situation hardly compatible with a society which is supposed to be saving energy and protecting the environment.

This will be a live online presentation via Zoom. Please sign up using the booking button below and we will email you links and instructions for joining the session. (please check your spam email box if you don't receive an email booking confirmation).

This event is free. But you can make a donation during the booking process, if you wish.

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Good Lighting – Ask the Panel Q&A

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