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Take a trip to the dark side in Sherwood

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Seeking stars - Anne Mooney, Forestry Commission ranger, takes a peek through a giant telescope ahead of a public stargazing event in Sherwood Pines on 28 October

The Forestry Commission is going over to the dark side by staging a week’s activities to celebrate the woods at night from the 25 to 29 October 2011.

Experts from Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society will share stunning views of the heavens using powerful telescopes as part of the unique event (7.30pm on 28 October), which is being held in rustic Sherwood Pines Forest Park, near Clipstone.

Light pollution has robbed many folk of their view of the sparkling heavens, but light relief from the orange glow exists in the dark 1,200 hectare (3,000 acre) Nottinghamshire beauty spot. Jupiter – the largest planet – will swing into view and there’ll be a tour of the constellations and a colourful talk to get people hooked on astronomy.

Other activities include lantern making and decorating workshops (25/26 October), coaching on night-time navigation with a qualified orienteering expert (6pm, 25 October), a spooky twilight walk to mark Halloween (5.30pm, 26 October) and tips on fire lighting and campfire cooking for those pining for a wilderness experience (3.30pm, 27 October).

“The woods come to life when the sun goes down and rather than feel fed up by the long nights we thought we’d celebrate them with a packed series of half-term events,” explained Forestry Commission ranger Karina Thornton. “This is a magical time with the seasons on the turn and day tipping into night.”

Booking is required for all events on 01623 822447 and the cost is £5 (£7 for campfire session). All children must be accompanied by an adult. Sherwood Pines is signed from the B6030 Ollerton to Clipstone road.

Note to Editor

Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.  To find out more got to

Media calls: Richard Darn on 07753 670038.