Enjoy Autumn’s Dark Skies
Now the clocks have fallen back we can fully enjoy autumn’s dark skies. Helsbury Park is lucky enough to sit snugly (or snuggly if you like) within the boundary of the Bodmin Moor Dark Sky Park which encompasses the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AoNB) plus a 2 mile buffer zone.
The International Dark-Sky Association designated Bodmin Moor as an International Dark Sky Landscape in 2017 and light readings show the quality of the night sky over Bodmin Moor is amongst the best in the country if not the world.
This designation helps support the varied wildlife inhabiting the moor as having defined day and night is essential for many species to survive. It is also beneficial to human visitors promoting improved sleep patterns and reducing stress.
The Big Dipper Campaign
Cornwall Council supports the ‘Big Dipper’ campaign which aims to encourage property owners to assess how much outside lighting we have. It promotes the use of lighting only where and when it’s needed which we are trying to do at Helsbury Park.
The Milky Way
Autumn is a great time in Britain to catch a glimpse of the Milky Way, on a clear night it should be visible just above the horizon to the South West. Many stars, meteors and chocolate bars are visible to the naked eye but it might be a good idea to pack some binoculars for a better view (there are plenty of birds to watch during the daytime too all around the park).
For a beginners’ guide to what you’re looking at see the UK Dark Sky Discovery Partnership’s web site: https://www.darkskydiscovery.org.uk/Simple%20Autumn%20StarsDSD.pdf
And for a local perspective see the Caradon Observatory site.