High Weald

Did you know the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has some of the darkest skies in the South East?

Communities across the AONB will celebrate their unique and historic view of the stars at the first ever Wild About Dark Skies Festival, running Saturday 18 – Sunday 26 February 2023.

Free events will take place throughout the week in Battle, Burwash, Crowhurst, Etchingham, Ticehurst and Wadhurst, and everyone is welcome!

Come along and enjoy:

  • Planetarium shows
  • Astronomy demonstrations
  • Special guest speakers
  • Dark skies walks
  • Light pollution workshops
  • Dark skies storytelling for children
  • And much more...

As well as celebrating the High Weald’s dark skies, the Festival also aims to raise awareness about the negative impacts of light pollution – including wildlife, climate change and our own wellbeing – and provide some tips and advice for how we can all do our bit to reduce it.

So put the dates in your calendar and keep your eyes peeled on social media and here on the High Weald AONB website for more updates; you can also sign up to our eNews.

The Wild About Dark Skies Festival is a collaboration between local Wild About groups in Battle, Burwash, Wadhurst, Ticehurst and Crowhurst; East Sussex and Wadhurst Astronomical Societies; High Weald AONB Partnership; International Dark Skies and Dark Sky Lighting, kindly supported by Sussex Lund.

How can I help?
If you would like to help volunteer during these events please contact:
Samantha Nicholas, AONB Dark Skies Coordinator: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

So what are dark skies?
Dark skies are defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "places where the darkness of the night sky is relatively free of interference from artificial light."

Light pollution today means that less than 10% of the UK population can enjoy a view of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. To make sure future generations can see the wonder of the stars, we all need to reduce light pollution.

Some dark skies facts
WILDLIFE: Research on light pollution shows it has an impact on wildlife as they often cannot forage for food, find their mate or they use up too much energy as they think it is daylight.

HEALTH: Light pollution affects our circadian rhythms and is linked to poor sleep patterns, cancer and mental health problems.

SAFETY: Did you know extra lighting does not always protect you from burglaries?! It helps criminals hide in the shadows.

More info:
Dark Skies in the High Weald AONB