Northumberland greeting cards: Dark Sky

Northumberland is the most sparsely populated region in England, and one of the many benefits of this (along with quiet roads, open spaces, and unspoiled landscapes) is the darkness of the night sky, which makes this area one of the best places for observing the stars and planets.

Northumberland International Dark Sky Park is the largest area of protected night sky in Europe, covering 572 square miles (1,483 square kilometres). The area was awarded gold status designation in 2013 by the International Dark Sky Association in Tucson, Arizona, the world authority on light pollution. This status means that controls are now  in place to prevent light pollution and to protect the night sky.

One of my best selling cards is the view of Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland National Park, in winter, when on clear nights the stars glitter brightly in the dark skies to the north of the wall, a region with vast empty spaces and just a few remote farms and hamlets scattered across the land towards the Scottish border.