Snowdonia Solar System Trail Launched!
The Sun will be a permanent fixture in Blaenau Ffestiniog from now on thanks to The Snowdonia Solar System Trail, which was launched at the Oakley Arms Hotel, Maentwrog on Thursday 29th of November.
With funding from Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig and the Snowdonia Partnership Fund the Snowdonia Solar System Trail was created by local children and artists Rachel Rosen and Andy Birch with the aim of highlighting Snowdonia’s designation as an International Dark Sky Reserve. Planets will be placed at ten different businesses across Gwynedd with the Sun at Shop Antur ‘Stiniog on the High Street in Blaenau Ffestiniog, with each piece of art teaching visitors more about that specific planet. And as an interplanetary trail, people can also gain an understanding of the Solar System’s scale.
As well as being an opportunity to learn more about the trail there were also many guest speakers at the launch such as Jo Hinchliffe, the Dark Sky Officer from Snowdonia National Park, a stargazing session with Dark Sky Wales and a Mars Drop workshop with Amelia Stars. Unfortunately due to the weather it wasn’t possible to go outside with the telescope this time but Martin from Dark Sky Wales gave a very interesting talk all about astronomy instead. Amelia put our design skills to the test with her Mars Drop workshop. The challenge was to design a protective lander for an egg so that it could be dropped from a height without breaking. The egg represented the expensive equipment which is dropped onto the planet Mars.
Rachel Roberts from Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig explained: “The Dark Sky status can create great economic benefit following the growing interest in astronomy. Astro-tourism has resulted in increased visits to Snowdonia during months that are outside the normal tourism season. This trail will add great value to this already flourishing market.”
Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig is one of Menter Môn’s LEADER programmes which looks for innovative solutions to the challenges facing the Gwynedd economy by piloting new initiatives.
The project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. It’s also part funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), Gwynedd Council and Snowdonia Partnership Fund.
For more information about the project go to https://cysawderyri.cymru/