Norfolk Coast AONB and Broads Dark Skies Festival 2021
Image credit: Pexels

By Catherine Leigh, Assistant Project Adviser, Norfolk Coast Partnership

We are very lucky to enjoy splendid night skies and dark landscapes where we live on the Norfolk Coast. These contribute to the rural character and that feeling of remoteness and tranquillity – some of the reasons why people like to come here. The lack of light pollution and resulting dark skies contribute to our health and well-being by allowing us to philosophise about our place in the universe, enjoy astronomy activities and gain a sense of nostalgia, peace and romance. In addition, scientific studies show that we need the dark to help us sleep properly which in turn boosts our immune system and lowers stress levels. Darkness not only brings us numerous benefits, but is necessary for wildlife to navigate during migration, hunt prey or avoid predators, pollinate night flowering plants, or simply to sleep as part of the 24 hour day/night cycle which humans also need.

The Norfolk Coast Partnership are therefore working with various organisations and businesses, including the Norfolk Broads National Park, to celebrate our night skies, and preserve them by reducing the impact of light pollution on our rural landscapes. We will be holding our 3rd Dark Skies Festival this year between Saturday 25th September – Sunday 10th October 2021 and we hope you will enjoy taking part. Events will consist of a mix of online and face-to-face activities throughout the festival fortnight. Put the dates in your diary and find out more on our Norfolk Coast Dark Skies Facebook page @norfolkcoastaonb or follow us via Twitter @NorfolkAONB

Is your community interested in preserving the night skies where you live? We are interested to work with town and parish councils and local businesses in and close to the Norfolk Coast AONB. For further information contact Kate in the Norfolk Coast Partnership staff team on kate.dougan@norfolk.gov.uk  

Image credit: Pexels