Lakes holiday park stargazing enterprise

by Gary West

SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Guests at a Lake District holiday park can now plan their visits to coincide with the best views of the night sky.

The lack of light pollution is proving a big draw amongst holidaymakers, to Skelwith Fold in Ambleside

Live data on its website about when the stars will look most stunning is broadcast. Skelwith Fold boasts 130 acres of parkland uninterrupted by light at night time.

The phase of the moon, cloud coverage, nightfall times and other data are all provided, in addition to a stargazing rating for each day for the following month.

Park director Henry Wild said that growing numbers of families taking a vacation this year are waking up to the dazzling beauty of the night sky.

He said: "Gazing at the stars is especially popular with people who live in towns and cities, and who have never seen the mystical splendour of the heavens.

"For children especially, it's a fantastic experience to venture out after dark and see sights such as the Milky Way, steaks of meteors, neighbouring planets, and the glow of other galaxies.

"Because Skelwith Fold is elevated and surrounded by mountains, there is very little light pollution which means the night sky can look ravishing on a clear night."

Mr Wild added: "Now our guests can use our website to assess the stargazing conditions during their visit, and see up to the minute readings on factors such as cloud cover."

The readings are linked to the park's own weather station which uses meteorological equipment on its reception roof to generate readings and forecasts.

Mr Wild said that it was installed in order to present a true picture of the weather in the area which, due to its micro-climate, often differs from the rest of the county.

in addition to conditions such as temperature, wind speed and rainfall, the station also shows the height of the cloud base, intensity of UV radiation, humidity, windchill, and a host of other data, invaluable to walkers.

Mr Wild said: "It has been estimated that over ninety per cent of people in Britain are totally unable to see the stars, and have never enjoyed the amazing spectacle of a clear night sky.

"Here we can help them reconnect with the universe, and if it also encourages youngsters to look up at the sky instead of down at their mobile devices, so much the better."

Skelwith Fold was this year crowned as Lakeland's top holiday park in the Cumbria Tourism Awards, and provides luxury glamping pods, touring pitches, and holiday homes for private owners.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 4:56PM
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