Wild About Dark Skies Festival

Join us on a journey into the High Weald’s starry night sky…

Did you know the High Weald National Landscape has some of the darkest skies in the South East?

After the resounding success of our pilot Dark Skies Festival in February 2023, we’re gearing up for an even bigger and more exciting event this year, thanks to grant funding from Lund Trust.

We are inviting Parishes, ‘Wild About…’ groups, community groups, astronomical societies, and other organisations across the area to take part in the Wild about Dark Skies Festival 2024, running from Monday 28 October to Sunday 10 November.

As well as celebrating the High Weald’s dark skies, the Festival will raise awareness about the negative impacts of light pollution – on wildlife, climate change and our own wellbeing – and suggest some small, simple lifestyle changes to help reduce it on your own doorstep.

The Wild about Dark Skies Festival isn’t just a celebration; it’s a call to action. It’s an opportunity for us all to come together and make a real difference here in the High Weald. If you’re passionate about reducing light pollution, come and join us!

A collage of images from the Dark Skies Festival 2023

How do I get involved?

Your contribution to the festival can be as big or small as you wish – you can hold one event or a whole week of celebrations.

The only ‘must have’ is that your event must talk about the importance of reducing light pollution.

Activities could include:

  • Leading a dark skies walk
  • Family Star party – fun activities for children, games, craft and puzzles
  • Dark Sky photography exhibition
  • Mobile Planetarium show
  • Stargazing demonstrations with astronomy groups
  • Talks from special guest speakers

Small amounts of funding are available to reimburse eligible costs such as project managing your event, booking speakers, venue hire and other associated event costs.

Festival timeline

  1. Download and read our Festival guidance note (pdf) ASAP
  2. Email s.nicholas@highweald.org to express your interest in running an event – by 30 June
  3. Submit the formal event application – by 1 August
  4. Wild About Dark Skies Festival takes place – 28 October – 10 November
  5. Submit post-event expenses forms – by 1 December.