Sark named world's first dark sky island

Sark Prof Davies said he hoped the award would increase interest in astronomy

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The Channel Island of Sark has been designated as the world's first dark sky island by the International Dark-sky Association.

Sark joins other international sites recognised for their lack of light pollution.

Conseiller Paul Williams said: "This is a tremendous feather in our environmental cap.

"Sark is a wonderful island and this recognition will bring our uniqueness and beauty to a wider audience."

The classification is given by the International Dark-sky Association to help promote astronomy and energy efficiency.

The award followed a long process of community consultation, which included the assessment of the sky darkness and an audit of all the external lights on Sark.

Sark has no public street lighting and some residents and businesses altered their lights to ensure as little light as possible spilt upwards to make the island more friendly to those wanting to view the night sky.

Prof Roger Davies, president of the Royal Astronomical Society, said: "This is a great achievement for Sark.

"People around the world are become increasingly fascinated by astronomy as we discover more about our universe, and the creation of the world's first dark sky island in the British Isles can only help to increase that appetite.

"I hope this leads to many more people experiencing the wonders of a truly dark sky".

Steve Owens, the dark sky development officer who led Sark's application, said: "This is an ideal opportunity to bring stargazers to the island throughout the year, and I think that Sark is about to see a boom in astro-tourism, especially in the winter months."

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