In October 2019 Cranborne Chase AONB became the 14th International Dark Sky Reserve  in the world 



 “A precious resource - I've cycled across Cranborne Chase at night and it was a rare and magical experience to have my way lit only by the moon for so long!”

“I have never seen so many stars in Britain before moving here.”

“I have been to festivals and events in the AONB and been entranced by the night skies that can be seen there. This is something all too rarely seen in a small country such as ours, is very precious and should be preserved. It is fitting that the night sky can be seen in such glory in a place with such a rich archaeological history.”

“Running a B&B we get lots of guests from the cities, and they all comment on how beautiful the night skies are. Many sit in the garden into the small hours looking at the stars!”

“We all need more galactic gateways. Fingers crossed for a successful application”

“Keep looking up!”

Did you know that 90% of the UK’s population and two-thirds of the world’s population live under heavily polluted night skies?

We think of pollution in terms of dirty air, water contamination and excessive noise, all of which can have a significant impact on us. However, light pollution is equally a problem and is already having a big impact on our health. It is also affecting local biodiversity, particularly insects, birds and trees.

Here at Cranborne Chase, though, we are lucky to possess and cherish our dark night skies. Ours is a unique area of pristine night skies where, on a clear night, fortunate residents and visitors can witness the majestic arc of the Milky Way. This is one of the most treasured qualities of the AONB and we are working with other UK Dark Sky Places to get our dark night skies the statutory protection they need to enable them to thrive and survive. We were the first AONB to became an International Dark Sky Reserve in its entirety in October 2019, but want to make our dark skies even darker.

Our Campaign

Dark Sky Status


Find out how and why we want to protect our dark skies


Get involved and help make the dark skies in this International Dark Sky Reserve even darker