25th January 2011

Sark is awarded Dark-Sky status

Sark became the world’s third international Dark-Sky Park, and the first international Dark-Sky Community in Europe, on 25 January 2011. The announcement was made on the 31st by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Fewer than 12 sites around the world had earned themselves Dark-Sky status before Sark, but the number did include Scotland’s Galloway Forest Park.

The Dark-Sky movement promotes the fight against light pollution, making awards to locations where it’s possible to view the stars with the naked eye. Sark was a natural candidate for such an award, having no street lights or motorised traffic, aside from tractors.

An island-side endeavour

A press release from the International Dark-Sky Association explained that “a rich Milky Way is visible thanks to Sark’s island location, its generally low use of residential and commercial electricity, and of course its striking absence of public street lights.”

The Association suggested Sark had created a “purposeful directive for future lighting practices”. Several public institutions on the island, including the school and hotels, had reworked their lighting arrangements to help reduce light pollution and the island’s government pledged that any future lighting would conform to the International Dark-Sky Community’s requirements.

This latter point was particularly important since the designation is a key selling point for the island’s tourism industry. As well as promoting its less frenetic pace of life, Sark has been using its Dark-Sky status to attract astro-tourists who visit for star-gazing breaks. Enya released an album called Dark Sky Island in 2015 inspired by Sark’s status.


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Other events that occured in January

Alderney elects its first president 1st
Guille and Alles open their library 2nd
Guernsey bans smoking in public places 3rd
Guernsey Press registers its domain 4th
Guernsey Zoo is sold as a going concern 5th
Guernsey opens its wartime files
Guernsey Police moves to its new headquarters 6th
Guernsey Fisher makes its maiden voyage 7th
Work begins on the Val des Terres 8th
A hotel porter goes on trial for murder 9th
Guernsey Police Service appoints its first inspector 10th
Royal theft inquiry heads to Guernsey 11th
Channel Express Airways plane crashes in Guernsey 12th
Sibyl Hathaway, Dame of Sark, is born 13th
Channel Television disappears 14th
Benefactor Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx dies 15th
MV Prosperity is wrecked at Perelle 16th
Guernsey’s Royal Court sits for the first time 17th
Doctor Who travels to Guernsey 18th
Channel 4 gameshow Treasure Hunt comes to Guernsey 19th
Hanois Lighthouse is cut off by the weather 20th
Guernsey-built prototype plane crashes 21st
Guernsey Steam Tramway stops running 22nd
Radiant Med sinks with loss of life 23rd
Guernsey wins gold at the Commonwealth Games 24th
Sark is awarded Dark-Sky status 25th
Guernsey passengers are battered by storms 26th
Sir Isaac Newton has his say on a mysterious Guernsey invention 27th
Guernsey’s last witch trial takes place 28th
Guernsey poet George Métivier is born 29th
The States of Guernsey proposes a new airport 30th
Guernsey lifeboat performs a chemical tanker rescue 31st