Less than three miles from Rhayader are the dark skies of the Elan Valley.
Fantastic scenery combines with star-filled skies to create an environment you can stare at in wonder.
In 2015 the Elan Valley was granted the silver-tier status by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) based in Arizona, USA. This status now means that the entire 45,000 acres of the Elan Valley are protected against light pollution for the benefit of those who live and work here, in addition to the many visitors each year. The status also provides sanctuary for the abundance of wildlife and nature which can be found by day or night here on the estate.
This achievement means that the region’s stunning dark skies are protected for future generations. They are well worth protecting — this area has arguably amongst the darkest skies in the country.
TIPS FOR STARGAZING
It takes around 20 minutes for your eyes to become dark adapted, so relax and soon the beauty of the night sky will be revealed. Don’t expose your eyes to man-made light as the dark adaption will be ruined. Use a red light torch if you need to read a star map.
When you go stargazing around Rhayader and the Elan Valey, let people know where you are going before you set off. Be aware of the weather forecasts and take a mobile phone,
warm outdoor clothing, hot drinks, food and a couple of torches with fresh batteries.
Visit www.adventuresmart.uk for more information.
You don’t need expensive equipment to stargaze. You may want a simple planisphere
to get to know the constellations. There are many star map smartphone apps that help you learn what’s in the night sky. Some binoculars might be handy to scan the star fields. Or just use your eyes and take in the wonder of the Milky Way