Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
Professor Stephen Hawking – physicist
The skies have been, and are, an inspiration to all humanity. Interest in astronomy, or simple contemplation of starry skies, has always had profound implications for philosophy, science, arts, culture and for the general conception of the universe in every community all over the world.
In November 2009, Galloway Forest Park became the first UK and 5th World International Dark Sky Park. It attained the award at the Gold Tier level making it a unique location and major accolade for Scotland and the UK. Now with over 30 across the world, astronomy is fast becoming one of the hottest ‘things to do’ for people on weekends or of an evening. The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere and the Dark Sky Park are intrinsically linked and the designation of both present opportunities for organisations and business.
A fundamental aspect of the Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park is the potential to bring tourism to the area in the quieter autumn and winter months. For this reason four Biosphere Dark Sky Rangers have been trained to communicate about the wonders of the night sky and the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere. The self-employed Biosphere Dark Sky Rangers have a variety of skills and specialisms and present opportunities to private sector businesses such as hotels, B&B’s and campsites to run events and tailor make experiences for their customers. The four Biosphere Dark Sky Rangers can be contacted directly to discuss your requirements.
Below is a flavour of who they are and what they are about.
I am a professional photographer and artist based in the north of Dumfries and Galloway. As well as general walks and presentations on the night sky I offer night time photography workshops in partnership with my husband, Ted Leeming. A wide range of subjects can be offered including timelapse, star trails and focus stacking as well as creative ideas for exploring night time photography.
Contact Morag on Tel: 01644 430 004 Mob: 07917 102693
Fully authorised by the Forestry Commission and insured I offer vehicle based exploration of the Dark Sky Park, also programmed and bespoke experiences across the Biosphere. For newbies I provide introductions to Dark Sky. For astronomers I will organise logistics and transport to the dark heart of the park. For hiking, biking and adventure groups – events at your wild camps. For hospitality, accommodation providers and groups – Nights with The Stars, entertaining presentations and talks indoors or out.
Contact Nick on Mob: 07764152650 or Tel: 01581655005
With years of Ranger experience organising activities and events I am offering a wide range of creative environmental, space and star activities suitable for all ages and all seasons. From pond dipping to home-made rockets, star gazing and moon watching to camp fire evenings you will find something you like. I want to work with local communities and businesses, increasing their appeal to families, whether they are locals or visitors to the area.
Contact Elizabeth on Tel: 01671820814 or Mob: 07842241141
I was brought up with the stories of the night sky and a love of nature and the wild places, which I have passed on to my own children. My passions include fell walking, wild camping, night navigation, social pedagogy, star gazing and building round houses. Give me a campfire in a woodland clearing, a canopy of stars and a group of people to share it with and I am happy.
Contact Matthew on Mob: 07548668737 or Tel: 01387840340