Dark Skies Board
The Dark Sky Board of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park.
The International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) status was achieved for Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park in 2013.
The Dark Sky Board Partnership was formed immediately afterwards to work to maintain the status. Since its formation, the purpose of the Board has been to maintain IDSR status. The Board has evolved in the intervening period and has agreed that its principal objective is now to ‘maintain and enhance the nocturnal natural environment’. The name of the Board (The Dark Sky Board Of Bannau Brycheiniog Brecon Beacons National Park), and its membership also now reflects this focus.
Who We Are
Our members include representatives from the Usk Astronomical Society, Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park Authority, the Brecon Beacons Parks Society and Monmouthshire County Council.
Our Core Purpose
The Dark Skies Board aims to protect and enhance the dark skies and nighttime environment. Our area of focus is Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park, however, we also seek to protect and maintain an External Buffer zone around this boundary to help prevent light spill into the protected area.
To create throughout Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park a night sky of natural darkness that provides multiple benefits, safeguards the environment, and provides a sense of shared heritage of primeval connectedness and wonder.
Success for the board, is measured in terms of the maintenance of International Dark Skies Reserve status for the National Park. Already this long-standing achievement has supported and promoted Bannau Brycheiniog for the quality of the nighttime environment.
The work of the Board is entirely voluntary and achieved through negotiation and agreement. Neither the Board nor the organisation of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park has statutory power to require improvements to lighting, nor does it control development around its borders, making the task of the board one of championing the benefits of dark sky enhancement and preservation.
Alongside our existing schedule of outreach and educational work we are, with the Officers of the National Park, working towards two long term aspirations:
- A long established and high quality night sky and night time environment in Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) National Park, appreciated locally and nationally for the benefits it brings.
- The value and importance of darkness is mainstream in Wales with widespread lighting control measures in place and supported by the Welsh Government.
Y Bannau: The Future
We recognise the importance of the Management Plan to our work, and have been involved with development since the Vision and Objectives stage when Darkness was first introduced as an element of the Park’s special qualities. We look forward to working with officers of the Park in the future on projects which seek to deliver shared aims around the night time environment.