TEN potential ‘dark sky discovery’ locations, which could bring extra tourism to the county, were backed by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park members at their authority meeting yesterday, May 6.

‘Dark sky’ locations, free from light pollution, are becoming increasingly popular worldwide as a site for unhindered views of the stars.

A Sky Quality Survey report for Park members at their May meeting identified a series of potential Dark Sky Discovery Sites across the Park.

Dark Sky Discovery Sites, decided by the UK Dark Sky Discovery partnership, are small, accessible observation sites with good night sky quality.

There is currently only one such site in the National Park, the National Trust’s car park at Broad Haven South.

A spread of Dark Sky Discovery Sites across the Park could help raise its profile, not only for stargazers and photographers but as part of more general “Park at night” type experiences.

The 10 sites backed are spread throughout the county: at Skrinkle Haven car park, Stack Rocks car park, the Kete car park, Martin’s Haven car park, Abereiddi Bay, Garn Fawr car park, Bedd Morris car park, Bwlch Gwynt car park, Rhosfach Common, and Poppit Sands.

“The 10 sites recommended in this report are considered to all meet the published criteria for Dark Sky Discovery Site status and could be nominated as such,” the report states.

A further seven sites are suggested as having a good chance of being accepted: Amroth, Carew Mill, Pickleridge, Dale Airfield, Newgale Sands, Caerfai Bay, and Sychpant in the Gwaun Valley.

The report added: “Recognised Dark Sky status can bring economic benefits, particularly by bringing in extra tourists at normally quiet times of year as winter obviously lends itself to viewing the stars, with longer periods of true darkness (outside of astronomical twilight) and at less antisocial hours.”

Further discussion between the Park and partner organisations will now take place on putting forward Dark Sky Discovery Sites for designation.