AN astronomer is leading an initiative to get everyone to help save the nights sky.

The Cotswolds Conservation Board will launch their Dark Skies Initiative on the March 16 with a special event led by famous astronomer Will Gater. The event, titled ‘Chasing Darkness’, will include a talk by Will about what dark skies mean to us, what they can reveal, and how we must work to protect their treasures. If the weather allows it, the evening will conclude with an outdoor stargazing session.

Dark skies are a notable and characteristic feature of the Cotswolds AONB and in 2016, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) published survey data showing that a good part of the Cotswolds AONB retains high quality dark skies – but also warned that dark skies are becoming increasingly rare.

Will Gater is an astronomy journalist, author and science presenter with over twenty years’ experience of observing and photographing the night skies. He has also written several books and is touring his first live show, The Story of the Solar System, to theatres around the UK.

Will Gater said, "I’m really looking forward to talking to people from around the Cotswolds about the value of dark night skies and the many celestial sights that that darkness can reveal. I’m also thrilled to hear that the Cotswolds Conservation Board will be celebrating the importance of dark skies, and working to address light pollution through their new Dark Skies Initiative, and hope that other areas across the UK will join them in this vital work."

Mark Connelly, Land Management Officer at the Cotswolds Conservation Board, said, “We’re delighted that we’re now in a position to launch the Cotswolds Dark Skies Initiative. This is an ambitious project, but as the countryside continues to experience increasing threat from light pollution, it’s important to do what we can to protect our astronomical landscape. We’re especially pleased that Will Gater is able to show his support of the project.”