In October 2019, Cranborne Chase became the UK's first AONB to become an International Dark Sky Reserve in its entirety.
To gain the status the area needs to have exceptional or distinguished starry nights and nocturnal environments that are protected for their scientific, natural, educational, cultural and heritage treasures and/or public enjoyment.
Read the appendices to our International Dark Sky bid here
Find out more about the status on the International Dark Sky Association website.
We use a grid system to gather Sky Quality Meter (SQM) readings in the the 380 square miles of the Cranborne Chase AONB which we need to survey. The process itself is easy. With a special handheld device, click a button to take a measurement and record it. However, some of the places are quite remote and will require going out late at night, so it will take some time.