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Artists’ message to protect the night sky will launch the 2022 Dark Skies Festival (18 February-6 March)

Big skies at Ellerburn North York Moors by Tony MarshBig skies at Ellerburn North York Moors by Tony Marsh

16 November 2021

New thought-provoking solo art exhibitions during next February’s Dark Skies Festival across the North York Moors will help deliver a message that the night sky is precious and needs to be protected.

For the first time the North York Moors National Park’s Inspired by… gallery has commissioned two artists to produce new bodies of work that not only celebrate the night sky but also promote a wider understanding of its fragility in the face of creeping light pollution and the detrimental impact this is having on the natural world.

World-renowned astronomy artist Louise Beer has spoken to National Park dark sky consultants as part of her research into the philosophical and ecological importance of natural darkness. She will then interpret their relationship to the night sky through photography, installation, sound and a visitor participatory element, for her ‘Dark Reflections’ exhibition which will be designed to help inspire positive environmental change.

Artwork by Louise Beer

Meanwhile talented Yorkshire Dales-based printmaker Helen Peyton has spent time walking ancient routes across the North York Moors landscape at night, guided only by landmarks and the stars, to create a series of artwork entitled ‘Starscapes’.

The exhibitions will be a key feature of the half-term Dark Skies Festival which runs from 18 February to 6 March and will see events being held right across the International Dark Sky Reserves of both the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales National Parks.

Visitors can expect a fantastic array of events in beautiful locations – from stargazing safaris and opportunities to run, cycle or walk under pristine dark skies, through to daytime fun activities including rocket building and planet trails, as well as expert talks aimed at fostering a greater understanding of the night sky.

A host of dark skies friendly accommodation providers, including B&Bs, pubs and hotels, will also provide stay and gaze packages for those visitors who want to spend longer enjoying looking at the heavens while wrapped in a blanket with a pair of binoculars in-hand.

More programme information and booking details will be available soon on

The ‘Dark Reflections’ and ‘Starscapes’ exhibitions will begin with a special pre-booked preview on 18 February and then run from 19 February to 3 April at the Inspired by… gallery in The Moors National Park Centre, Danby


Media contacts

Amanda Brown on M: 07876 452580 or email:


Nina Beadle
Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority
01439 772700

The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Created on 28 November 1952 it became Britain’s sixth national park. Covering an area of 554 square miles (1,436 square kilometres) the National Park has 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 Scheduled Monuments and over 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated 8.4 million visitors a year.

The National Park has two visitor centres, The Moors National Park Centre, Danby and Sutton Bank National Park Centre, providing opportunities for cycling, walking, eating, picnicking, shopping, crafts and wildlife-watching. The centre in Danby also houses the Inspired by… gallery, which features regularly changing exhibitions by artists who draw their inspiration from the North York Moors.

The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a wide variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire, providing apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities with nearly 14% of staff being apprentices from local families.

To view other press releases and for further information about the North York Moors National Park, visit