Dark Skies Festival

Dark Skies Festival 2022

Buriton is a special place in the South Downs International Dark Skies Reserve

Buriton is one of only a handful of ‘Dark Skies Discovery Sites’ in the National Park – which is why everyone is encouraged to minimise unnecessary external lighting.

The National Park’s 2022 Festival ran from 12th to 27th February – culminating in local activities at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park (QECP).

In spite of some stormy weather the festival was very popular and the “Walk the Planets” evening at QECP had a huge turnout: the organisers stopped counting after they’d reached 400 people!  With clear skies, visitors were able to enjoy some fantastic stargazing, with many seeing Orion’s belt, the Pleiades and even the Andromeda Galaxy. 

The Festival included a mix of both virtual and physical events and was timed to coincide with half-term holidays in Sussex and Hampshire. Anyone could enjoy learning about the dark skies from the comfort of their own home, with a selection of short films and Facebook Live events during the fortnight.

Highlights included how to build a home for bats, top tips for astrophotography and a profile of each of the 10 Dark Sky Discovery Sites in the National Park – including Buriton! 

Please remember that Buriton is located in a crucial, narrow part of an International Dark Skies Reserve which covers parts of the National Park (see here). We have a rare and wonderful ‘sky full of stars’ above the village which was featured on BBC World Service broadcasts during 2021 and as an exemplary Case Study by the National Park Authority (here).

Thanks are passed to everyone who ensures that their lights use lower wattage bulbs, only shine ‘where’ needed (downwards and shielded from neighbours) and only shine ‘when’ needed (using timers or proximity sensors).