Dark Skies

14 January 2020

There are two ends to a pair of binoculars and whichever end one looks through one can see the same view but from a different perspective.
With this in mind a small group of poetry fans met in Lorton Shop in December to read and write poetry around the subject of Dark Skies.
We enjoyed Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas.
The reading of published authors was excellent but perhaps providing more joy was the poetry composed by our own local poets!
We have something rare and special in our part of Cumbria, that of a dark sky. Not all the valley is dark and perhaps we should take a moment to understand and value what this special natural phenomenon provides for wildlife and our own wellbeing.
Read a little more on The Melbreak Communities website if you are interested.
Our next poetry evening is in February. The theme is the same but the style of writing is Haiku. If you don’t know what that is, do not worry about it, just come along and enjoy a pleasant evening, eat some free homemade cake and buy some excellent coffee from the shop.

Contact Glenis on 85958 or glenis@borderhydro.co.uk and put your name on the mailing list.


The fells are in the Vale of Lorton, Cumbria

On Melbreak’s flank the day has yet to rise,
And Grasmoor’s sun-black shadowline will chase
The dark across the heather-tumbling face,
To spread and spread the warming morning skies.

But, dead of noon, the moon will plagiarise
The night, and at a leisured stroke efface
The day, to fill each eye and earthly space
With midnight black; and nature’s chatter dies.

The minutes pass; the lanes and fields lie still;
Smoked lenses have no light or shade to see,
Until a sliver strikes the valley floor,

And, leaf by leaf, the trees begin to fill;
The lake again reflects the diamond scree;
Dark skies have gone: the day is born once more.

John Scrivens
11th December 2019

Posted March 2019
Have you heard of Earth Hour? It’s a global event when people all over the world switch off their lights and reflect on the diversity of life on the planet. This year, Friends of the Lake District is partnering with the communities of Melbreak to present Earth Hour Event Saturday 30 March, from 8pm- 9.30pm Yew Tree Village Hall, Lorton Lights out and tea lights on at 8.30pm Free, includes refreshments with glass of wine We hope everyone in the Melbreak communities will participate by turning their lights off at home during Earth Hour and enjoy the wonders of the darkness. The more households that participate, the greater the impact will be. The event begins with a short presentation by Friends of the Lake District’s Dark Skies Project Officer, Johanna Korndorfer, on the charity’s aim to make the Lake District National Park a Dark Sky Reserve, and why it’s important to value our dark rural skies. If the weather is clear enough, we will do some stargazing with an astronomer during Earth Hour, as well as take sky quality meter readings and astrophotographs before and after Earth Hour to see if there is a difference in the quality of the dark sky. Bring binoculars if you have some. More info can be found on Darkskiescumbria.org.uk and https://www.earthhour.org

Johanna writes:

Cumbria has some of the darkest skies in the country, where people are still able to see the spectacular display of stars at night. Dark skies are also important to nocturnal wildlife and their foraging and pollinating habits. That’s why Friends of the Lake District is leading the work towards gaining ‘Dark Skies Reserve’ status for the Lake District National Park. This internationally recognised accreditation will demonstrate, as well as celebrate, a continuing commitment towards protecting our dark skies for future generations.

For additional information click here.