Dark Skies Cumbria

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!

Up to a hundred people joined local astro-photographers, and astronomers and took part in Lake Wellbeing’s Forest and Moon Bathing experience for our Big Switch Off event in Keswick on 23 April. 

Although a dry evening, cloud cover hid the moon and stars from our binoculars, cameras and telescopes! On a positive note, over 60 street lights were switched off, along with the lights of nearby Lake Road car park. Several businesses based in the area and some nearby residents also switched their lights off.

Dark Skies Officer Jack Ellerby said: “Despite the cloudy conditions there was a great vibe, showing there’s a big appetite for dark sky activities and star gazing. The Cockermouth Astronomical Society guys were kept busy sharing their vast knowledge and providing advice about the types of equipment to use.

Everyone was keen to have another go in such a magnificent setting - Crow Park, next to Derwentwater - which has a great sky vista.

Our experience of Switch Off events in Ambleside and Grasmere shows that each year momentum and awareness grows, with more and more businesses and people switching off unnecessary lights overnight.”

Many thanks to the Cumberland Lighting Team for their hard work, The National Trust for allowing us to use Crow Park (a fantastic venue for dark sky star gazing) and to all the businesses and residents who took part, including Booths and the Hope Park Trust.

Above: Jen Grange and moonbathers looking skywards.

Main image above: Mike Andrew, astro-photographer. 

See more photos from the event on our facebook page here.