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Yorkshire Coast Stargazers Wanted

stargazing

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 6:54am 9th February 2018.

There's an initiative to recruit stargazers on the Yorkshire Coast.

The 'Dark Skies' Festival gets underway today and is run by The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Parks.

The National Parks are keen to train more people who can share and explain the night sky happenings with visitors.

A Starmakers programme has been established to provide astronomy and presentation skills so that more events can be held throughout both National Parks, plus the two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the Howardian Hills and Nidderdale.

Initially the National Parks are looking for 12 Starmakers who will then support accommodation providers and local communities to host ticketed astronomy events.

The weekend’s training in 2018 will include practical and theoretical astronomy presentation techniques aimed at navigating the night sky with the naked eye as well as using a telescope. Customer service and tips on running events for different audiences will also be included.

The training is free with the only condition being that candidates deliver two sessions for the North York Moors National Park on a voluntary basis after which rates will be paid at an agreed amount with the candidates who will then also be able to run sessions themselves or set up business relationships with other venues at any time.

Mike Hawtin, Outdoor Activity Tourism Officer for the North York Moors National Park National Parks said:

“The first two Dark Skies Festivals really helped ignite people’s cosmic curiosity. This has resulted in a rise in enquiries from both visitors looking to attend a stargazing event and businesses who are keen to become an all-year-round destination through astro-tourism.

Already, established providers such as Hidden Horizons have added more stargazing events at Dalby Forest in response to demand and our existing pool of astronomers has become stretched to the limit responding to requests from hotels, bed and breakfasts, historic buildings and many other venues.”

Tracey Lambert, Tourism Officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park added:

“Ideally our budding Starmakers need to have some experience in astronomy and star gazing but more importantly they need  a passion for the night sky to join our team as full training and mentoring will be given.

In return all we ask is a commitment to help deliver some of the events.”

The festival runs from today (Friday 9 February) until Sunday 25 February. 

For further information on the Starmakers programme and the Festival go to www.darkskiesnationalparks.org.uk

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