Kent village of Woodchurch seeks dark sky status

Romney Marsh Image copyright Michael Garlick
Image caption The small village of Woodchurch is situated on the edge of Romney Marsh

A Kent village with some of the darkest skies in south east England is seeking international astronomical recognition.

Ashford Borough Council has applied for Woodchurch to get International Dark Sky Community status to help attract tourists.

Ashford Astronomical Society chairman Drew Wager said it was perfectly situated on the edge of Romney Marsh.

"What we've got is probably an area of maybe 20 miles... where it's properly, properly still dark," he said.

Mark Carty, Ashford council's head of culture and environment, added: "Protecting Ashford's dark skies enables us to promote astro-tourism and support our rural economy."

Dark sky status means the night-sky is protected and lighting controls are in place to prevent light pollution.

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