The first in County Durham takes place at Hamsterley Village Hall on Thursday 1 May. Booking is required.
The North East has some of England’s darkest skies.
In a light polluted country they are also an economic asset which translates into a unique selling proposition for the tourism sector. Just as people have long been attracted by the our wildlife, landscapes and historic sites, now the stars offer another compelling reason to visit.
Now the Animating Dark Skies project partnership – which includes the North Pennines AONB – is staging a series of workshops to help bed and breakfast, campsite and self-catering owners, inn and hotel managers, tour guides and anyone working in the visitor economy gear up to provide an unforgettable dark sky experience for customers.
The North Pennines boasts more Dark Sky Discovery Sites than anywhere else in the UK.and Northumberland is home to Europe’s biggest International Dark Sky Park.
You will get tips on making your business more dark sky-friendly, marketing stargazing opportunities, learn how others are tapping into the astro-tourism market and get practical advice on buying equipment. You will also be shown how to use telescopes and binoculars and, weather permitting, be able to view amazing stars, galaxies and planets with a mini star party. Material will be available to take away.
This event is supported by DEFRA and the tourism industry through the Animating Dark Skies project partnership, part of the Northern Lands Programme.
Participants will also receive on-going support by being subscribed to an exclusive Stars for Profit resource website and be able to download monthly stargazing podcasts for guests to use on their phones.
Online bookings can be made on the Eventbrite website:
Event leaders are Richard Darn, dark sky campaigner, communications expert and amateur astronomer, and former director of the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, Robert Ince.
Startrails picture attached by County Durham astronomer, Dave Thompson.