GSA Biosphere to host first Dark Sky Park Conference

Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve in Scotland will be the location for the first-ever Dark Sky Park Conference held in Europe.

The Conference will bring together some of the world’s top dark sky experts with the aim of promoting rural development, tourism and tackling light pollution issues.

The conference is being organised by Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere (GSAB), the International Dark Sky Association (IDSA) and Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES).

Joan Mitchell, Chair of the Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere, said:

“The Dark Sky Park is an integral part of the Biosphere, between them they offer a 24/7 attraction in south-west Scotland, offering the opportunity to celebrate and explore the region’s landscapes and wildlife during the day and the dark skies at night.

The Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere covers an area of 5,268 square kilometres and includes 45,000 dwellings and 95,000 people. The Biosphere also contains 14 Special Areas of Conservation and 4 Special Protection Areas. Galloway Forest Park was the first area in Europe to achieve Dark Sky Park status, and over 7,000 stars and planets are visible with the naked eye from the Forest Park.

The conference will be held at the Cally Palace Hotel in Gatehouse of Fleet from 20-22 September 2017. More information is available on the GSAB website, or the Conference’s dedicated website. You can also follow on twitter using the #darkskies2017 hashtag.