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!

- Do you fancy sharing your love of the night sky with the public whilst helping us protect our fragile nocturnal environment from light pollution?

- Then we have an exciting new initiative to share with you!  

- The Cumbrian Dark Skies Ambassador programme has been launched to help train and mentor enthusiastic people to become stargazing guides at public events.  

- We are now looking for expressions of interest to take part.

- Cumbria is one of the darkest areas remaining in England and we want to keep it that way. There's also a strong demand from the public for stargazing experiences.

- The free programme will develop your astronomical knowledge and also build confidence to share your passion with the public.  We will run two training days in Cumbria and provide ongoing mentoring, plus we will create opportunities to gain practical experience.

- Leading the programme will be experienced outreach astronomers who have staged hundreds of events across the UK.

What we need from you
Some basic astronomical knowledge is required, ie. you know the difference between a star and a planet, understand what a galaxy is and can name the planets of the solar system. But you don’t need to be a rocket scientist so don't be put off!  We will help you build your knowledge and confidence. But in particular we want people committed to do outreach events in the future, beyond the life-time of this scheme. Remember, sharing the night sky with others is great fun, but also a good way of making them care and more likely to help protect what they value. By way of gaining practical experience we’ll ask you to assist at an event for the Cumbrian Dark Sky Festival (28 October – 12 November).  

What we will do for you
The two induction days (maximum five hours each) will be friendly, informal and enjoyable. If you have always wanted to learn more about practical stargazing this could be your perfect launch pad.  And if you already have a good level of knowledge, it’s a chance to tap the expertise of popular outreach stargazers.  What works and what doesn’t?  What do you do on a cloudy night? What kind of questions do you get asked? What equipment works best? How much knowledge do you need?

So if you're interested, do get in touch. We'll need your full contact details (including address), a brief paragraph on your level of stargazing experience and what you think you’ll do with your new skills.  Fill in and send your completed form by Friday 22 July 2022 to: [email protected] and [email protected]

In the future you might want to charge a fee for your services, offer them on a voluntary basis, or indeed do a mixture of the two to ensure sustainability and recoup travel costs as a minimum. 

Don't be shy, we want to hear from you!  But note places are limited.

Cumbrian Dark Skies Ambassador programme is led by the Friends of the Lake District with additional support from Forestry England, Cumbria Tourism and the National Trust. 

Header image: The Keswick Launch, Lady Derwentwater, by Dave Williams