The head of the Forestry Commision, Pam Warhurst, has backed a bid to create one of the world’s biggest ‘dark sky’ space observation areas in north Northumberland.
Kielder Water and Forest Park, which already has its own state-of-the-art observatory, would be kept permanently free of light pollution under the plan, which has been submitted to the US-based International Dark Sky Association.
Kielder is already one of the UK’s best stargazing areas, with thousands of stars easily visible on a clear night – whereas in most towns and cities just a few can be glimpsed.
Ms Warhurst said the bid would secure a ‘truly exciting’ future for astronomy in the area.
“The observatory is an inspiring place and a tremendous asset to the North East and Borders,” she said.