Dark Skies and Star Count 2023

Cannock Chase News January 2023

Frosty Image Robert Cartwright

Star Count 2023

How many stars in Orion


Nothing beats looking upwards at the night sky to see velvety blackness, with twinkling constellations. Our buildings and roads emit light, and this can affect our view of truly dark skies. Light pollution doesn’t just spoil our view of the skies – it can also be very bad news for insects and other wildlife. The AONB together with the Countryside Protection for Rural Environment CPRE have a Dark Skies project to help our community and visitors to better appreciate and enjoy the wonder of dark skies, better understand the effects of light pollution on human well-being, wildlife and sustainability, and encourage everyone to protect and enhance dark skies and reduce light pollution in the area.

Every winter, CPRE, the countryside charity, runs a citizen science survey called the Star Count, in which people count the number of stars they can see with the naked eye in the Orion constellation. This year’s Star Count takes place from 17th – 24th February and the results will be used to produce a map of which areas have the darkest skies. 

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Free Family Events

Family events

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust with support from the AONB Partnership are holding 2 free family friendly dark skies events on 20th and 22nd February 2023 at Wolseley Bridge. These events were rapidly booked up, but we are hoping to run more in the future.


Stargazing for Scouts and Guides

CPRE Staffordshire with funding support from the AONB is organising a free stargazing event for Scouting and Girlguiding units at Beaudesert Outdoor Activity Centre. Professional astronomers from Keele University’s Observatory will bring their telescopes to allow children to enjoy great views of the night sky. 

Family events

Annual Conference

Annual Conference

This year’s Annual Conference will be held at Brocton Hall Golf Club on 8th March 2023. Cannock Chase has been shaped through the interactions between people and landscape over millennia, and its historic environment and culture is fundamental to its natural beauty, unique character and sense of place. The Chase Through Time project (2016-18) aimed to shine a light on 2,000 years of human activity on Cannock Chase and how our ancestors managed and worked their environment.  The conference will look back at this project and its legacy and share thoughts for the future conservation and enhancement of the historic environment on Cannock Chase. 

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Farming in Protected Landscapes

Do you have ideas for improvements on your land but need funding, speak to Colin Manning to find out how we can help to support you in getting that funding from initial idea, to applications and completion, you will be helped every step of the way.

Beaudesert Park Farm have recently undergone improvements through the scheme and a case study can be found here.

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FIPL Beaudesert project

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Dates for the Diary

The next walk organised by the Friends of Cannock Chase is on Saturday 18th February, meet at Springslade Lodge at 10.30am. Distance appox 2 miles, its an amble more than a ramble. Please see programme here. Just turn up on the day.

Springslade Lodge

The date of the next Joint Committee meeting will be on Wednesday 22nd March 2023 from 14:00 to 16:00 at Rising Brook Community Church, Stafford.

Cannock Library will be offering a FREE 5 week Family History Course in association with Midland Ancestors, starting in February. Get help and advice to begin your journey into your family’s story. Click for more information.

Credit header image Robert Cartwright