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Lough Dan Scout Centre

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5 months 3 weeks ago #106127 by lunartic
Hi all

I was in contact with the management of the Lough Dan Scout Centre in the Wicklow mountains about the possibility of using their site for observations and photography. I sent the following email:

Hi there

I am contacting you enquiring if your site would be available to a group of amateur astronomers wanting to get in some dark skies for observations and photography? It is clearly understood that the site will be off limits when there are cub and scout groups are booked in, however, we would be observing mostly in the late autumn, winter and early spring mostly at the weekend.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Paul

This is the reply I got:

Hi Paul
No problem. Work away so long as you share a few of your photos with us for use on our website? Just make a day visit booking via our website www.loughdan.com so the staff know to expect you. On the site there is also a check availability calendar so you can see the quieter weekends.

Would you do an introductory session for scouts/cubs at Lough Dan for the Roundwood group?

Cheers
Zef

I have been to this location at night and it had great night sky views, there are trees and the horizon is not visible.

This is a page from their website about their dark sky reserve:

www.loughdan.com/?page_id=1017

There are toilets on site and even a hostel, see here:

www.loughdan.com/?page_id=1017

I think that this will be an alternative to the Sugarloaf, especially when the winds are high, we all know what it's like standing up there when the wind howls.:-( :-( . Naturally this site will not be accessible at all times, scouts and cubs will have priority, but it's an alternative to have.

Paul

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5 months 3 weeks ago #106128 by michael_murphy
Good work Paul,

Perhaps we should organise an evening for the Scouts which would allow those of us who have not been there to check the place out. Maybe a Wednedsay/Thursday close to first quarter Moon?

Michael.

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5 months 3 weeks ago #106129 by lunartic
I plan to head down there,perhaps Saturday to have a talk with the guy and then we'll see where it goes from there.

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5 months 3 weeks ago #106130 by michael_murphy
I'm not around on Saturday, but let me know how it goes.

Michael.

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5 months 3 weeks ago #106131 by lunartic
Will do.

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5 months 3 weeks ago #106132 by RandomPillars
Great work Paul. Yes, let us all know how you get on. Im sure a few of us can help with any intro session. That would be cool.actually.

Sean

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5 months 3 weeks ago #106133 by lunartic
I am due to meet with Zef at 10.30 on Sunday morning. If anyone wants to come down with me I can meet you in Roundwood village at 10 and I can drive you down to show the way.

Paul

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5 months 2 weeks ago #106134 by RandomPillars
Sorry Paul- I'd defo go with you if i could but I'm child-managing most of Sunday. Anyone else who can go????

Sean Smith
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5 months 2 weeks ago #106135 by lunartic
I went down to see Zef, who runs the Lough Dan Scout Centre in Wicklow, with the intention of asking for the use of the centre for astronomical use, observing and photography. The man was a pleasure to talk to and was only too eager to allow access to the site.
Lough Dan Scout Centre sits in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park and boasts dark skies. There are a couple of places to set up equipment, in the centre itself, this has a rough car park and nearby field. There is also a field a little way up the road that is accessible and only a single dwelling nearby.
The Scout Centre operates as a dark sky centre, so they are sensitive about lighting, see here:
www.loughdan.com/?page_id=1017
Here is a Google maps image of the site which really shows its suitability as a dark sky site:
www.google.ie/…/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x4867a34f5…
Lough Dan is 5 kilometres from Roundwood in Co Wicklow and well signposted. It is a busy place, but should be no problem for observers and photographers to access, it would be a good opportunity to show cubs and scouts some of the wonders of the night sky. In the winter months the activity eases down.
To book a night you log onto the website: www.loughdan.com and book in as a day visitor, there is no charge.
The site is sheltered by trees and the wind will not be too much of a problem.
I look forward to making use of this wonderful location.

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook
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5 months 1 week ago #106151 by RandomPillars
Wow i am late with this post. Meant to get back here ages ago. That's super well played Paul. Can't wait for someone to organise a night up there so we can give it a good run through.

Sean

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5 months 1 week ago #106153 by lunartic
Seeing how the weather plays out we might think of heading down there next weekend, Friday or Saturday week.

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better programs, and the universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the universe is winning.

Rich Cook

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5 months 1 week ago #106154 by RandomPillars
Great. Well let us all know here if you are planning a night. I'll get down if at all possible

Sean Smith
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