Stargazing with the Forestry Commission

When I was a child, stargazing was of little interest to me. I don’t recall any lessons at school that sparked my interest, although I did find it fascinating that a friend had perfectly accurate constellations on her bedroom ceiling. This was courtesy of her incredibly clever dad and some fluorescent stickers.

Stargazing is a great way to get back in touch with nature and get outdoors. It is the perfect way to teach children about space and stars in an educational way that will hold their interest and increase their knowledge of an important STEM subject. The Forestry Commission have produced some great resources to help parents to get out into the forest to do some stargazing with the kids after school.

Photo courtesy of the Forestry Commission.

Stargazing in the forest

Fast forward to today, and my four year old daughter is already fascinated by stargazing. Even my two year old always looks out for the stars and the moon when it gets dark. For my girls, this has a lot to do with Tim Peake’s trip into space last year. It seems that both the media and schools have built on this and Libby probably knows more about the stars than I do even now.

Stargazing is a great way to get back in touch with nature and get outdoors. It is the perfect way to teach children about space and stars in an educational way that will hold their interest and increase their knowledge of an important STEM subject. The Forestry Commission have produced some great resources to help parents to get out into the forest to do some stargazing with the kids after school.

photo courtesy of the Forestry Commission

This year, the Forestry Commission are encouraging children to get outdoors after dark to do some stargazing in the forest.  They’re opening up the forests after dark, and they’ve produced a guide to the top stargazing forests. Many of these have special events going on, but the Forestry Commission hope that people will head to all their forests to see the stars.

Stargazing is a great way to get back in touch with nature and get outdoors. It is the perfect way to teach children about space and stars in an educational way that will hold their interest and increase their knowledge of an important STEM subject. The Forestry Commission have produced some great resources to help parents to get out into the forest to do some stargazing with the kids after school.

A beginner’s guide to stargazing

If you like the idea of getting out into the forest to see the stars but can’t make it to an organised event, the beginner’s guide to stargazing is perfect. All you need to do is sign up to the website and they’ll send the guide to your inbox. It contains stargazing tips, night sky facts, a winter star map and even some games and activities.

Stargazing for beginners | Looking at the stars is the perfect way to get children and adults alike outside in the fresh air. It is also perfect for fostering an interest in science, space and STEM subjects. The Forestry Commission in England have put together a handy guide to stargazing in the forest or from the comfort of your own garden. Learn about the stars, constellations and space whilst getting children active.

My husband knows a little more than me about the stars, so he has already shown the girls some constellations. But even if you’re a complete novice like me, you can download star charts to tell you where the constellations are.

Getting outdoors

For me, the best part of this is that stargazing takes you outdoors and makes nature exciting. We’re incredibly lucky to be able to step out of our door and see the stars as we back onto a nature reserve. But we’ll also be heading to our favourite local forest, the Forest of Dean to get an even better view of the stars.

Stargazing is a great way to get back in touch with nature and get outdoors. It is the perfect way to teach children about space and stars in an educational way that will hold their interest and increase their knowledge of an important STEM subject. The Forestry Commission have produced some great resources to help parents to get out into the forest to do some stargazing with the kids after school.

photo courtesy of the Forestry Commission

The thing about the forest is that there’s little to no light pollution. It may seem like an odd place to stargaze due to the trees, but all forests have clearings and they’re the perfect place to go. So grab a telescope, wrap up warm and get out there to explore nature and see the stars. Libby’s wearing her Muddy Puddles waterproof which is perfect for keeping the mud off during forest schools as well as stargazing. It’s always best to head into the forest just before it gets dark and make sure you know the way out.

Stargazing is a great way to get back in touch with nature and get outdoors. It is the perfect way to teach children about space and stars in an educational way that will hold their interest and increase their knowledge of an important STEM subject. The Forestry Commission have produced some great resources to help parents to get out into the forest to do some stargazing with the kids after school.

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Please note, we were sent the necessary equipment for stargazing in order to allow me to write this post.

5 Comments

  1. February 16, 2017 / 7:00 am

    I love this idea, my girls would love to go stargazing. I’m going to see if there is a forest near us that is open. I find it relaxing glazing up into the sky x
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…Sharing The Blog Love #32…My Profile

  2. February 16, 2017 / 7:53 am

    What a lovely idea! My kids were fascinated by the moon at a young age and we were all very inspired by Tim Peake, but we do know very little about the stars! I never would have thought about looking at them in a forest, but it makes sense because of the lack of light pollution.
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Being invested as a ScoutMy Profile

  3. February 16, 2017 / 8:50 am

    I love looking at the stars and looking for the aurora too. We are really lucky here not to have any light pollution and I can step out into the garden and see them.

    On your next visit to Scotland you should stop off at the Dark Sky Park in Dumfries and Galloway. It is meant to be incredible and they have an observatory there too. Put it on your list!
    Melanie Chadd recently posted…Visiting ShetlandMy Profile

  4. February 18, 2017 / 7:16 pm

    I’d love to go stargazing at our local forest – O has just received a telescope for Christmas and loves using it at night through his bedroom window! x

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