• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

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Northumberland National Park secures new conservation grant to protect its Dark Skies!

Northumberland National Park is one of five UK National Parks in 2019 to be awarded a conservation grant from the newly launched Clif Bar National Parks Protectors Fund.

Northumberland National Park Authority has received £10k through the conservation fund that will be used to raise public awareness about dark-sky conservation, as well as delivering a new dark sky-friendly lighting project in Northumberland International Dark Sky Park – England’s first and Europe’s largest International Dark Sky Park.

Duncan Wise, Visitor Development and Marketing Manager at Northumberland National Park, said:

“We are delighted to receive this funding from the Clif Bar National Parks Protectors Fund.

“This project will enable us to raise awareness of the issues around poor outdoor lighting and the cause of light pollution, and how it affects nocturnal wildlife and our health. It will also help residents and businesses to adopt good practice and replace bad lighting with better, well-designed alternatives, thus ensuring the pristine dark skies of Northumberland International Dark Sky Park are conserved for the wonder of this generation and the next.”

The anti-light pollution project in Northumberland International Dark Sky Park will be delivered in two parts. Phase one focuses on raising public awareness of the issues around bad outdoor lighting such as unshielded lights and blue-white LEDs on wildlife and our health, as well as it contributing to light pollution, which effectively blocks the view of the stars above.

The second part will focus on adapting or replacing bad lighting with appropriate, fully-shielded lighting in the Dark Sky Park.

The partnership between Clif Bar and the UK National Parks is funding a series of major conservation projects taking place across five of the UK’s National Parks during 2019, as well as supporting the environmental protection of the remaining ten parks.

The projects, funded by Clif Bar, range from the installation of a bug hotel bike rack in the Broads National Park, to woodland protection in the New Forest. Clif Bar has a long history of supporting environmental projects in the USA and Canada, but this is the first time the company has lent its support in the UK.

The brand, which sells a range of energy bars to support active lifestyles, is committed to running a different kind of food company and is passionate about protecting the places in which it plays and to the communities in which it lives.

Catherine Hawkins, Chair of National Parks Partnerships, said: “Clif Bar is really stepping up to help the UK National Parks to protect and conserve their precious landscapes. The National Parks work year-round on projects that protect and conserve important habitats and wildlife. But with so much work to do, we need the support of partners like Clif Bar to help protect these landscapes for now and the future.”

In a fitting celebration of the new dark sky conservation project and to mark the 50th Anniversary of the first Apollo Moon Landing, Northumberland National Park is inviting would-be-astronauts, Buzz Lightyear impersonators and Aliens from the Andromeda Galaxy to join them for an out of this world experience on Saturday 20 July.

Visitors are encouraged to arrive on the day dressed as astronauts, space explorers or aliens.

Family-friendly activities include photos and prizes for best dressed, Solar Scope sessions, free energy bars to help your journey into outer space and a prize draw to win a free stargazing event for all the family.

David Smith, Senior Marketing Manager at Clif Bar Europe, said: “Clif Bar is a purpose-led company committed to sustaining five bottom lines.  These are our Five Aspirations – sustaining our Business, Brands, People, Community and Planet.

“Our partnership with the UK National Parks truly embodies these aspirations by supporting the communities we live in and the planet we share. We are confident that the projects supported through the UK National Parks Protectors Fund will help ensure that these outstanding landscapes we are so lucky to share with nature are available for generations to visit and enjoy.”