Protected local dark skies will light up the end of the month as part of a national inaugural event.

As part of the very first Welsh Dark Sky Week 2022 (19th – 27th February), the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB will be hosting a week full of dark sky activities and events to celebrate our protected dark skies.

On average 95 percent of the three national parks and five AONBs of Wales fall within the highest two categories of dark skies, including the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB.

Cllr Tony Thomas, Lead Member for Housing and Communities and the Chair of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB Joint Committee said: “We believe our dark skies are worth protecting and during the week will be hosting a whole range of events to help our community learn, discover and be inspired by the night sky.

“By protecting our dark skies we will be protecting our night skies for future generations as currently only two percent of the UK’s population receives a truly dark sky. It will have a positive impact on the areas biodiversity and also give the local economy a boost during the quieter season

“It will also reduce light pollution and CO2 emissions in the area and support 60 percent of our biodiversity which depends on darkness to survive.”

To start the week, residents are encouraged register as an AONB stargazer or business supporter through the web link below to receive a free constellation pocket guide and dark sky information pack.

This will help stargazers head into their back gardens or AONB Dark Sky Discovery Sites to learn more about the night sky.

The online event ‘Our Dark Skies’ on Saturday 19th February gives the public the chance to join the North Wales Dark Skies Officer, Dani Robertson, and learn about why our dark skies are so important and what we are doing in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley to protect them.

On Sunday 20th February you can attend ‘Nocturnal Insects and the Night Sky’ with Rochelle Meah to discover the effects of light pollution on the nocturnal behaviour, navigation and activity of spiders and moths.

During the week you can also:

  • Discover Moel Famau in the dark by joining local astronomer Rob Jones for an evening of stargazing at this beautiful country park. Attendees can explore the secrets and science of the night sky, learn how to identify constellations and delight in the beauty and mystery of our amazing universe.
  • Gather around the campfire with local storyteller Fiona Collins for a short walk and evening of storytelling under the stars.
  • Visit the StarDome planetarium for an interactive session to explore the secrets and science of the night sky.
  • Help set up a portable moth trap at Plas Newydd in Llangollen, to see which nocturnal moths are present in the heart of the Dee Valley. During the evening guests can also try their hand at building their very own bat box, to help conserve our nocturnal wildlife and pop back in the morning to discover what marvellous creatures have been caught overnight.

All of the events are free to attend, but do require booking. Visit our website below for the full schedule and more details on how to attend.