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NEWS RELEASE No: 165651 MARCH 2016

Explore the forests after hours to support WWF’s Earth Hour

Starry Skies

To support WWF’s Earth Hour Forestry Commission England is hosting a series of twilight activities throughout March, allowing visitors to the forest, to explore it after dark!

Earth Hour is a global annual celebration which inspires millions of people switch off their lights for one hour to show they care about the planet. It’s a symbolic and spectacular lights out display with a big message – we want to protect the future of our planet!

Embrace the dark by switching off your lights from 8.30 – 9.30pm on 19 March 2016, and attend one of our many Earth Hour events. You can also explore your local forest at twilight with one of our fun activity sheets for a great after-school activity.

What will you discover after dark? Our forests are the perfect place for night-time magic, star-gazing, storytelling and animal spotting. Wrap up warm, grab your torch and head along to one of our forests for an after dark adventure!

Rendlesham Forest, Suffolk
Visit Rendlesham for a Dark Forest guided walk. On 19 March, Wild Woods will lead you on a forest trail where you will get the opportunity to gaze at stars, look out for night animals and experience some night-time magic. The walk will last approximately 2 hours, booking is essential.

Whinlatter Forest, Cumbria
Explore the forest by twilight. Families can join us for an evening adventure in the forest, exploring the woods on earth walk then enjoying hot chocolate and storytelling around a campfire. Booking is essential and costs £2 per adult, £1 per child.

Kielder Castle at Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland
Kielder Castle will be hosting the spring Kielder Forest Star camp on 2 – 6 March. A gathering of astronomers from all over the UK to observe, stargaze and photograph the astronomical wonders of the night sky. If you are a beginner, there will be some talks to enjoy on 5 March between 12 – 4pm and even an opportunity for solar observing if the sun is shining. All activities are free of charge.

Grizedale Forest, Cumbria
Enjoy a guided star walk through the forest, led by professional Astronomer, Robert Ince. Robert will explain the constellations and their mythology, unlocking the mystery of the night’s sky. Booking essential and costs £10 per adults and £5 per child, (free parking and free refreshments included).

Gisburn Forest, Lancashire
Recently receiving its Dark Sky Discovery Site status, visit Gisburn Forest for some self-led star-gazing. Wrap yourself up and be in awe of night’s sky as the cosmos magically reveals itself.

Hamsterley Forest, Durham
Hamsterley forest is hosting two magnificent events in celebration of Earth Hour. On 2 March, 7.30 – 10.00pm guests will have the opportunity to see Jupiter, King of the planets. Gaze at the amazing cloud bands of Jupiter and the famous Great Red Spot, a massive hurricane that has lasted for hundreds of years! On 25 March, the forest will again open its doors between 7.30 – 10.00pm, allowing guests to take in the magnificent star clusters. These beautiful collections of jewels in the night’s sky make excellent objects to see with binoculars or with a small telescope.

Tickets for both events are £7.50 and should be brought from the café in advance, or book online at

Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire
Come and take part in a twilight self-led trail and find out which animals are active at dawn and dusk, and why they like these dimly lit hours. The trail will be in place on 19 and 20 March and the Forest will open between 7.30am and 8pm on these days. The Twilight Trail is self-led so visitors can take part at a time that suits them.

To make the most of your local woods and forests, the Forestry Commission Discovery Pass covers your parking charges for a year. Visit for more information.

Everyone can take part in Earth Hour by simply switching off their lights for one hour at 8.30pm on Saturday 19th March 2016. Find out more at or #EarthHourUK and do it for your planet.


Notes to Editor
Join in the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #EarthHourUK and @wwf_uk. Find our more and sign up at

1. Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Further information can be found at

2. Forestry Commission Discovery Passes vary in price from £20-£50 for annual membership. For more information visit

3. About Earth Hour - Earth Hour, organised by WWF, is the world’s biggest celebration for our amazing planet. In the UK last year, over 10 million people took part, along with over 4,800 schools, 200 landmarks and thousands of businesses and organisations. Iconic landmarks including Big Ben and Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Blackpool Tower, The Kelpies, Caerphilly Castle and many more joined the global lights out.

Globally, from Samoa to Tahiti, a record 172 countries and territories took part in the world’s biggest Earth Hour yet.  The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, South Africa’s Table Mountain, The Acropolis in Athens, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Empire State Building and Times Square in New York City, and the Las Vegas Strip were just a few of the world-famous landmarks that joined in.

4. About WWF - WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive.  Find out more about our work, past and present at

Media Contact:
Rebecca Ulewicz 
Contact: 0300 067 4107 /