First park for world-class stargazing to open in Galloway Forest, Dumfries and Galloway
EUROPE’S first park for world-class stargazing is to be opened today in a Scottish forest.
The Scottish Dark Sky Park at Galloway Forest, in Dumfries and Galloway, is one of only five “gold tier” attractions of its kind in the world.
It is also the only one with an observatory which members of the public can visit to look at the night skies.
The forest was chosen as the location for the first Dark Sky Park in the UK in 2009 by the International Dark Sky Association after it confirmed Galloway as one of the best places for stargazing in the world.
Organisers of Galloway’s bid hope the attraction will bring a valuable share of so-called dark sky tourism to Scotland.
VisitScotland has said the night sky could be “as important for tourism as the Scottish landscape.” The new park and observatory was due to be opened by First Minister Alex Salmond this morning.
The other four gold standard Dark Sky Parks are all in the US, in Utah, Texas, Pennsylvania and New Mexico.
The new initiative follows the success of the Dark Sky Scotland campaign, co-ordinated by the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, which drew more than 5,000 people to events in 2007.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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