Festival celebrating Norfolk’s dark skies takes events online
PUBLISHED: 07:46 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:18 25 September 2020
A festival celebrating the Norfolk coast’s stunning dark skies has taken events online so as many people as possible can enjoy the events from the comfort of their own home.
Taking place between September 23-26, the Norfolk Coast Dark Skies Festival champions the county’s dark skies and nighttime landscapes.
The four-day event features everything from an art competition to live streamed sound walks, tips on star-gazing and a line-up of leading astronomers, weather and night-walking experts.
It aims to celebrate the world once the sun sets, raise awareness of light pollution and encourage people to take action to preserve and explore dark skies.
This year, the festival is also part of Landscapes for Life Week, a national celebration of areas of outstanding natural beauty across the country and will be joining a host of other protected areas from the Cotswolds to the Lincolnshire Wolds under the banner of #myNationalLandscape.
Festival organiser, Kate Dougan, from the Norfolk Coast Partnership, said this year’s festival would build on the success of last year’s inaugural event.
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She said: “Our first Norfolk Coast Dark Skies Festival last year received very positive feedback - around 500 people took part in events along the coast and many were inspired to find out more.
“We’ll be celebrating the dark skies and landscapes of the Norfolk Coast and Broads, raising awareness of light pollution and encouraging people to take action to preserve our beautiful dark skies and landscapes.”
Ms Dougan said although the coronavirus pandemic had forced the 2020 festival format to change, she hoped taking events online would mean more people could be involved.
She said: “Dark skies are an important element of the rural character of the Norfolk Coast, which has some of the darkest skies in lowland Britain.
“As well as helping mental and physical health, creating wonder gained from gazing at the stars and reducing stress, they are vital for wildlife’s navigation, migration, breeding, hiding from predators, seeking prey and pollination.
“Even more importantly, they substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions, helping us combat the climate crisis and saving us money in the process.”
For more information including the festival lineup visit: www.norfolkcoastaonb.org.uk/partnership/dark-skies-festival-23-26-september-2020/1215
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