Dark Sky Reserve
Wales, United Kingdom
Snowdonia National Park is the first UK National Park named in Wales, sprawling over more than 2,100 square kilometers of territory – some ten percent of the total land area of Wales. The Park’s name traditionally applied to a smaller, upland area of northern Gwynedd around Snowdon mountain, while the Park includes a land area more than twice that size and extending to the south well into the region of Meirionnydd. The terrain of Snowdonia largely consists of the mountainous lands that run the length of Wales, although its lower reaches extend into coastal areas. The rugged interior of the Park supports little human settlement to this day, and consequently has created a naturally dark haven separate from coastal cities. Along with Dark Sky Parks Brecon Beacons National Park and the Elan Valley Estate to its south, Snowdonia is among the darkest places remaining in southern Britain.
The Park staff and leadership worked hard to build public support for the idea of protecting Snowdonia’s night skies by forming a Dark Sky Reserve. They have made great strides in educating locals about the fragile state of dark skies in the Park and its value both as a natural resource and a tourism draw.