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The south Wales valleys have great locations where local people and visitors can view the wonders of the night sky.

Now, in conjunction with Dark Sky Wales, the Valleys Regional Park programme is working with local communities to designate the world’s first network of community Dark Sky Discovery Sites, some of the very best spots where the night skies can be viewed. To celebrate this, the first-ever Valleys Dark Sky Discovery Festival is hosting fourteen events right across the valleys in the next fortnight where communities can enjoy the wonders of the universe with planetarium shows, telescope observing sessions, and talks.

The selected festival venues are close to the designated Dark Sky Discovery Sites. Glyncorrwg Ponds has become the first location in the valleys to be accorded official Dark Sky Discovery status.

“It really is a perfect location here” said manager Leigh Acteson. “In some parts of the Afan Valley there is light pollution from Neath, Port Talbot and Maesteg. But here it is very dark at night, even with the street lights and car lights. When you get a clear winter night you get crystal clear light. Even in the summer, as long as it’s clear it is still pretty good.”

Jemma Bere, who works for the Valleys Regional Park WECAN programme, said a major hope is that the new network of Dark Skies Discovery Sites will help promote and attract more visitors to the valleys, supporting the local environment and helping the local economy. “This will add to the growing number of outdoor activities such as walking, hiking and mountain biking that are being developed and enhanced right across the valleys”.

Amongst the venues hosting Valleys Dark Sky Discovery Festival events are a former chapel and a pub – the Whistle Inn at Garn-yr-Erw within the World Heritage Site at Blaenafon. To find out more, visit

Press Release by Valleys Discovery Festival

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