Published on 19 December 2018
About this good practice
Originally Samsoe Energy Academy and the municipality of Samsoe designated the marsh area Besser Made next to the NATURA 2000 protected area, Stavns Fjord as the upcoming Dark Sky area on the island. However, the access to the area and the private ownership structure of the surrounding areas weren’t ideal. Therefore, the project team instead focused on the Northern part of the Island that is easily accessible with good infrastructure and well-developed tourism. Furthermore, the protected, extraordinary ice-age formed landscapes on the northern island are mainly owned by the Government and the municipality of Samsoe. The potential spots were presented to the community at a meeting in Nordby in June 2018. At the meeting Nynke Rixt from Fryslând in Holland told about the background of the whole Night Light Project and Tom Axelsen from Dark Sky Moen described the challenges of transferring an island to a dark sky area. The choice fell on the Crows Marsh on the far North-eastern part of the island. At the 10th of October the kick off took place. Here the group were faced with information on the site, the biodiversity and about the starry night finishing up with a nourishing soup. The area proved to be ideal as demonstration/pilot project site to add the dark sky angle to the area. Therefore, the Crows Marsh has been selected to be the epicentre for the future development of the Dark Sky Place on Samsø.
One of the plans for the Crows Marsh is to establish a night sky shelter- hammock site to use for starry sky observations. The resources needed (20.000€) will be raised through fundraising.
Evidence of success
All the completed activities has proven, that there is a profound and growing interest on the starry night and the light pollution issues on Samso. The local people show up in great number every time there is an arrangement or night event and the local civic organisation has shown great capacity in carrying on and initiating new events, and make Sky Quality Measurements and to write on the IDA application. This positivity and energy accounts well for the long-term sustainability of the project.
Potential for learning or transfer
There were several reasons for selecting the Crows Marsh as the Epicentre for Dark Sky Samso. Firstly, the Marsh is part of the northern part of Samso that already is attracts many tourists because of its extraordinarily protected nature formed back in the last Ice Age. The area is easily accessible all year round and owned by the Danish Government and the Municipality of Samso. There are no neighbouring private landowners. Finally, the Crows Marsh is one of the absolute darkest spots on the island, lying on the east coast in light shelter from the biggest light polluter; the city of Aarhus on the mainland. From the very beginning the Municipality of Samso has been positive towards the Night Light project and taken active part in the selection whole process of the Dark Sky Area. At the same time the whole light pollution issue has been written into the future Municipality plan for the island. Specifically, the Municipality is terminating the replacement of all sodium lamps with LED.