Galloway Forest Park Dark Sky anniversary celebrated

Image caption, The area has become an attraction to stargazers since the Dark Sky recognition

A series of events is taking place to celebrate Galloway Forest Park becoming the first Dark Sky Park in the UK.

The International Dark Sky Association honour confirmed it as one of the best places for stargazing in the world.

Forestry Commission Scotland tourism manager Keith Muir said it had been a "whirlwind ride" for the area since the announcement in November last year.

He said the commission was keen to ensure the park remained a "major draw for tourists" in the years to come.

"I have heard so many positive comments from local accommodation providers who have seen an increase in bed nights purely as a result of stargazing," he said.

"In fact, we wanted to help local businesses make the most of this project so we ran a series of workshops for them."

With all the added interest, the commission has taken on a new Dark Sky Park development officer to work up a number of events during the coming year.

A wide programme of events has already been put together starting this weekend, under the banner the 2010 Galloway Forest Astrofest, to celebrate the first anniversary.

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