Published: 24 May 2018
Welcome to June’s edition of Eyes on the Night Sky. In many areas of the UK, the nights have now become much lighter which makes it difficult for stargazers to view their favourite galaxies, globular clusters and other deep sky objects that require darker nights to see them in their full glory but there is still plenty to see with the eyes, binoculars and telescopes! The lighter nights are due to the Northern Hemisphere inclined towards the Sun due to the axial tilt of the earth.
Published: 11 May 2018
A new Artists' Residencies project has been launched in the Elan Valley as part of the Elan Links scheme.
Applications are invited from visual artists for the 2018-19 Artists Residency programme in the Elan Valley, mid-Wales. Three residencies are available – two for August-December 2018 and one for January-June 2019. Through the arts we want to better understand, explore and engage with nature, water and issues around sustainability, as well as the rural/urban dynamic. The Artists’ Residencies aim to achieve this.
Published: 24 April 2018
Welcome to May’s edition of Eyes on the Night Sky. As we are nearly halfway through the year, the nights become brighter due to the approaching Summer Solstice in June. This month, we will make the most of those dark skies for viewing faint fuzzies for those few hours of night up around the middle of May/early June, where skies won’t get truly dark. However, there are still plenty of interesting objects to be studied, such as Lunar features, planets, open star clusters and double stars and more.
Published: 2 April 2018
Download the 2018/2019 Events Guide here:
Published: 27 March 2018
Welcome to the April edition of Eyes on the Night Sky. Springtime nights can provide a rich banquet of celestial delights before the nights get too light to enjoy the dark skies of the Elan Valley. Typically, April nights can be wonderfully clear and not too cold!
Published: 1 March 2018
A five-year £3.3 million investment for the Elan Valley has launched which aims to secure Elan Valley’s natural and cultural heritage and increase benefits and opportunities for locals and visitors.
Published: 25 February 2018
Welcome to this month’s edition of Eyes on the Night Sky. March is a busy month with two full moons, a couple of star clusters to study and an opportunity to see three planets in one morning! In addition, there is a rare and beautiful phenomenon to watch out for this month if you have access to dark sites such as the light pollution-free skies of the Elan Valley. Click here to find out more.
Published: 27 January 2018
Welcome to February’s edition of Eyes on the Night Sky. This month, there are still plenty of early, dark evenings to view your favourite objects, even though the nights are starting to draw out.
The New Moon occurs on 15th February and around that time, watch out for earthshine before dusk on 19th February, which is where the rest of the Moon’s surface can be seen, illuminated by the Earth’s light. It is also more poetically known as the “ashen glow” or, “the old Moon in the new Moon’s arms” and is very lovely to look at. If you were standing on the Moon looking at the Earth, you would see that the Earth is fully illuminated by the Sun which causes this effect. This can be seen any time in the year around the time of a New Moon at twilight. There is no Full Moon in February, as the previous one was on 31st January, which is commonly known as a Blue Moon month, a second full moon in a calendar month. In fact, there will be a second Blue Moon month in March, where another two Full Moons occur on 2nd and 31st March! Click here for the full article.
Published: 8 January 2018
UPDATE: 8th January 2018. Elan Valley Trust have finally secured planning permission to extend and renovate Penbont House subject to planning conditions. We are in the process of discharging these conditions and hope to commence highways improvements once the relevant permissions have been given. Subject to these permissions it is proposed that building works commence Spring 2018. It is not anticipated that Penbont will be open until at least Mid to late Summer 2018.
Published: 29 December 2017
A Happy New Year to all stargazers! We hope you had a great Christmas and that you are keen to try out your new telescope or binoculars! Even though the Christmas rush is over, there is still plenty going in the night sky, with a great planetary conjunction, two full Moons and deep space objects to study.
Published: 27 November 2017
December is a fabulous month for star clusters, nebulae and meteor showers. It is also the darkest part of the year as the Winter Solstice falls on 21st December, where the Sun is at its most southerly declination (it is one of two angles which indicates a position on the celestial sphere). It also means the North Pole is tilted at the furthest point away from the Sun. The Full Moon falls on 3rd December and New Moon on 18th December.
Published: 24 October 2017
November is a wonderful month for star gazing as you don’t have to burn the candle at both ends! After the Full Moon on 4th November, the best time to get out there is from the middle of the month (12th onwards, with a New Moon on 18th November) when astronomical darkness starts at 6:30pm. At that time, it is possible to view the summer targets in the early evening and watch the autumn and early winter ones rise majestically across the sky as the night progresses. At this time of year, the night sky becomes a visual feast for the eyes, binoculars and telescopes. This month, we’ll try to provide sky targets for all. Click here for more information.
Published: 26 September 2017
This month, the nights really start to draw in, so take those opportunities after dinner to wrap up warm, get out there and explore the night sky. Astronomical darkness will occur at around 8pm in the middle of the month, which means that the Sun is low enough below the horizon (below eighteen degrees) not to cast its light into the night sky. This is an opportune time to study more distant and dimmer objects, and see our favourite celestial objects in more detail. This article and future ones will provide interesting targets and sky maps for those who have small and large telescopes, a pair of binoculars, or even a pair of eyes!
For more information recommending planetarium apps to assist in your exploration of the night sky, information about planets, deep sky objects, stars and even a possible bright comet to view in October, please click here for our full article.
Published: 28 June 2017
Having submitted the Landscape Character Action Plan and developed project plans to HLF we have finally had a chance to take breath. It was a huge undertaking to get the documents ready and submitted in time and a big WELL DONE is deserved by all.
Published: 17 May 2017
Hello All. It has been a crazy few weeks and I'd like to thank everyone for their patience and consideration to the ewes and lambs which call Elan Valley home. Lambs are learning their green-cross code and wising-up to the people, dogs and cars about.
Published: 24 April 2017
Notes from the Head Ranger A Nervous Tick Well …. What an Easter it has been, we have begun in earnest with our Events and the guide and have welcomed a record number of Visitors over the Easter Holidays who have enjoyed walks, the adventure playground and our Easter Egg Scramble. Both the Rangers and the Café Staff have worked incredibly hard to provide the visitors with an excellent service. There is always a degree of breath holding as we encounter our first busy period after the winter but there was no need!
Published: 23 March 2017
Elan Valley Visitor Centre staff had two great days partaking in team building exercises hosted by Elan Lodge.
Roy and Steve kindly gave us a taste of what they offer groups wishing to develop their skills at the Elan Lodge.
There were some team building exercises on their high ropes course which involved high platform trust falls, tower building, high ropes through the trees, a little fear and a lot of laughs. Kayaking was hoped for, but the weather was against us.
Published: 20 March 2017
Well the last week has allowed a temporary breather into what has been a busy Winter and Spring so far. The Elan Links project is at its initial review stage so there was a push for the deadline and now we await the review, before the final sprint to June's application deadline. Out on the estate we have had some glorious sunshine and some ghastly gales, but all-in-all they both make for a spectacular view of the dams overflowing.
Published: 27 January 2017
Just over a year ago we started handling the bookings of the holiday cottages ourselves, this was to reduce agent costs and have a better relationship directly with our customers and their feedback. So with a better grasp on the properties we have been able to make improvements and update facilities at the properties, which has kept us busy in recent months. What we have been busy up to, do you ask?
Published: 27 January 2017
50th Anniversary for the Reservoir Roundabout
The 'Roundabout Team' have declared the 2017 Reservoir Roundabout another great success following another large turnout for this annual challenge event aimed at long distance walkers and runners held in the Elan Valley. The walk was held on the 7th January and marked the 50th Anniversary of the 1st Reservoir Roundabout in 1967.
Published: 16 January 2017
You will have noticed that Penbont Tearooms is currently closed.It is scheduled to open later on in 2017. Keep an eye on here and our Facebook/Twitter accounts for further updates.
Published: 31 October 2016
On the planetary side, Venus is by far the brightest object in the low south western skies, visible for some 11-12 hours after sunset, although suffering somewhat from the twilight glow.
Published: 20 October 2016
Come and tell us what makes Elan so special and find out more about the Elan Links Project
Published: 14 October 2016
The above structure will be closed to the public for the period Monday 24th to Friday 28th October, 2016 for urgent repairs.
We are sorry for any inconvenience
Alternative route by vehicle to the Elan Village is via Dolfallen bridge crossing the river Elan further down the road OR
via foot there are two alternative footbridges, one directly below Caban Coch Dam and the other footbridge at the end of the Elan Village opposite the Glan yr Afon Cottages.
Published: 13 October 2016
PENBONT HOUSE TEAROOM and B&B IS NOW CLOSED FOR BUSINESS
Sandra would like to thank all her customers and friends for their loyal support and custom over the past 4 years.
The Elan Valley Trust wish Sandra and her family all the best for the future.
The Elan Valley Trust will be carrying out refurbishment works and plan to re-open in 2017.
Updates will be put on the "NEWS PAGE" of the Website to keep customers updated of future plans.
Published: 3 October 2016
The chart shows the sky at mid month around 21.00 BST.
Planetary wise, Venus is struggling to pull away from the solar glare in the evening twilight, still just a couple of degrees above the western horizon at sunset. We’ve lost Saturn from view by the time of the sky chart while Mars is only just hanging on, low in the south-west skies. As with last month, Uranus and Neptune are only visible with tripod mounted binoculars or telescopic aid.
Published: 1 September 2016
Don't forget our Walking Festival
Starts Saturday 3rd September - Sunday 11th September (9 days of events)
Book your place on 01597 810880
Please join us on one of our events, See our What's On Page for more details.
Highlights include :-
Cwm Elan Mines Experience : 5 mile circular walk to explore the history and remains of the Cwm Elan Mines.
Published: 31 August 2016
I’m sure that you’ve all noticed the nights starting to draw in after the long summer days. Not really surprising since September brings the autumn equinox of equal length day and night time. In the skies, we’ve lost Jupiter and Mercury in the west, with only Venus clinging onto the bright twilight zone, some couple of degrees high at sunset. The other planetary double act featuring Saturn and Mars continues in the SSW skies, although Saturn is steadily dropping, with Mars slowly dimming in magnitude or brightness as the month progresses.
Published: 28 July 2016
The attached sky chart shows the mid-August skies for around 9.00pm BST.
Looking to the western horizon just after sunset, we have one of the two planetary groupings visible this month. The two inner planets of our solar system, Mercury and Venus, are joined by the gas giant of Jupiter. You’ll need a good low western viewpoint to catch this lineup, ideally a sea horizon. Those of you on the coastline will stand the best chances to observe this alignment. As always, if scanning the area with binoculars or telescopes, make sure the sun has set first!
Published: 29 June 2016
The sky chart shows the night sky for mid July at 22:00. Very low on the north-west horizon as the sun sets, we'll get a chance to see Mercury and Venus in a close pairing. This will be a difficult sight to catch in the still bright twilight skies but don't be tempted to sweep the area with binoculars unless the sun has completely set below the horizon. Mercury will only be around for a week or so, but Venus will linger in the twilight zone for a couple of months to come, before finally clawing it's way into the evening skies late in the year.
Published: 15 June 2016
Our playground is undergoing an exciting transformation!
The exisitng playground will be closed from 5pm Sunday 19th June
for about three weeks while the transformation occurs.
We apologise for any inconienience this may cause to our younger visitors.
Published: 1 June 2016
June is a month where we don't get truly dark skies. Even around the midnight hours, our sun is never more than 18 degrees below the horizon, ( the definition of “astronomical” darkness being that the sun is more than 18 degrees below horizon). Even so, there is still much to potentially see in the skies.
Jupiter is slowly dropping towards the western horizon, though still remains a worthy target for binoculars and telescopes for the next couple of months.
Published: 28 April 2016
Jupiter still continues to dominate our May evening skies, although the nights are becoming shorter and shorter as we draw into the Summer Solstice next month. Just after midnight, Mars and then Saturn will join Jupiter in becoming visible low in the SE skies.
Published: 21 April 2016
Caban Car Park will be closed for re-surfacing on Monday 25th April for a couple of days. We apologise for any inconveinience caused.
Published: 12 April 2016
If you are, then why not come to Elan? We provide a great learning environment for your pupils, from Early Years right through to Key Stages 4 and 5. We offer many education programmes to tie in with the National Curriculum or we can design something to fit in with your own study plans. As well as schools and colleges we also offer activities for home education groups, holiday and after school clubs, Brownies, Cubs, etc!
Published: 31 March 2016
The attached sky chart shows the mid-April skies for around 9pm BST. Jupiter dominates the southern skyline with the moon close by on the night of the 17th. Mars and Saturn are both visible from around midnight onwards, low in the south east skies. These two planets will become much more prominent in the summer skies, although the lighter skies won't be to their benefit.
Published: 29 February 2016
With March comes the spring equinox, the time of year when on or around the 21st, the day and night are of equal length with the sun rising due east and setting due west. From here on, we can look forward to lengthening daylight and shortening nights until mid June.
Published: 29 January 2016
The attached sky chart shows the sky for around 8.00pm mid February, and at long last, we have a planet visible in the evening skies as Jupiter is just appearing over the eastern horizon around mid evening,
Published: 21 January 2016
The 'Roundabout Team' have declared the 2016 Reservoir Roundabout another success following a good turnout for this annual challenge event aimed at long distance walkers and runners held in the beautiful Elan Valley on Saturday 9th January 2016.
Published: 4 January 2016
Our Cafe will be closed from Monday 11th until Friday 15th of January to enable us to refurbish the area.
We will be serving soup, sandwiches, pasties and cold snacks, along with loose tea, instant coffee and cold drinks in the Exhibition Hall. Cash payments only.
The Gift Shop and Exhibition area will be open as usual.
Thank you in advance for your patience while we do this work. We look forward to seeing you in our newly refurbished Cafe on Saturday 16th January.
Published: 20 December 2015
The sky chart shows the stars for mid January at around 8pm and we can finally start the new year with a planet in the evening sky, although it's not the easiest one to spot! Mercury will put in an appearance in the south west skies for the first week in January, but although bright, it will only be some 7° above the horizon at sunset. The rest of the bright planets are found in the morning skies and this is still where the action is.
Published: 30 November 2015
The sky chart shows the stars for 8pm in mid December. We are still short of planets in the evening skies, it will be another couple of months before they start to make an appearance. So it is to the morning skies we must look for targets.
Published: 30 November 2015
The following glossary provides some ins and outs of the strange words you can hear out and about on the Elan Valley Estate:
Let's begin with the birds and the bees; or rather more specifically the tups and the ewes.
Published: 30 November 2015
As part of the developing APTELAN Artist In Residence Programme at the Elan Reservoir, I have had the opportunity to stay in a cottage near the Pen y Garreg Dam. Being located within the natural fabric of the valley, I was struck by how soon my understanding of time, and how I chose to spend it, changed.
Published: 1 November 2015
Elan Valley secures £1.7 million Heritage Lottery Fund support for a 6 year programme of investment worth over £3 million.
Published: 29 October 2015
The all-sky chart shows the night sky for mid November at around 10pm. One of the most prominent winter star groups, or constellation to use the correct name, is becoming visible in the south east sky now.
Published: 30 September 2015
The attached sky chart shows the sky at around 10pm BST mid-October. In terms of planets, the evening sky is thin on the ground with only the faint and hard to find outer planets on show. For the early risers amongst us though, the morning skies offer much better viewing.
Published: 24 September 2015
2016 EVENTS PROGRAMME, Have your say ......................
Can you help us, let us have your views?
As you may know the Elan Valley Trust hold a number of Events throughout the year together with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water.
We would like to take this opportunity to gather your views on the types of events you would like to see and participate in on the Estate.
What type of event do you think would be popular?
Published: 1 September 2015
The nights are slowly lengthening as we approach the Autumnal Equinox. On the 23rd September, day and night will be of equal length.
Published: 7 August 2015
The First Elan Valley Walking Festival takes place in the Elan Valley
from 5th to 13th September 2015.
All Events are FREE and All Walks are GUIDED
For further information please click on the link,
or go to our website to the "Whats On" pages for September 2015.
Published: 31 July 2015
The sky chart shows the sky at around 10:00pm BST during mid August. Although three planets are shown in the night sky at this time, realistically only Saturn, skulking low in the south-west skies will be easily visible. Neptune, rising in the east in the constellation of Aquarius, will need steady mounted binoculars to detect, and even then will just appear as a point of light.
Published: 17 July 2015
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water's Elan Valley Estate achieves International Dark Sky Park status in world first
Published: 29 June 2015
The chart is timed at 22.00hrs for mid July. With the nights still very short, you'll need to be awake very late to get truly dark skies again for this month, but you will still just see the bright pairing of Jupiter and Venus in the evening twilight. As you may have noticed, Venus has “flown” by Jupiter over the past month or so, treating us to a spectacular union at the start of July. Hopefully you've had your cameras out capturing the conjunction.
Published: 22 June 2015
Do you have any old photos of the former Elan Village School?
Or any stories or memories you would like to share?
We would love to hear from you.
We are hoping to have a display of old photos for a Coffee Morning scheduled for Sunday 26th July. See the "Whats On" page for more details.
Please contact the Elan Estate Office on 01597 810449 or email email@example.com
Published: 28 May 2015
With mid-summer solstice almost upon us, we won't get truly dark skies this month, so the chart is timed at 22.00 hrs for June.
Published: 27 May 2015
The Elenydd Purple Moor Grass project is one of 19 successful Welsh Government Nature Fund projects. The Welsh Government's aim was that the Nature Fund projects would help respond to the challenges faced by the wildlife and habitats which were identified in the State of Nature report.
Published: 30 April 2015
With the lighter evenings, the sky chart is now displayed to view at around 21.30 BST.
Venus and Jupiter still dominate the SW and W skies, but during the first week or so of May, Mercury will be putting in an appearance in the low Western Sky. Try spotting this elusive planet by looking for the Pleiades cluster, and locating the nearby “intruder”. If using binoculars or any form of optical aid, please ensure the sun has set first, before sweeping for Mercury.
Published: 30 April 2015
This month the Elan Valley Trust's assistant land agent Charlotte Harley joined like-minded agricultural people on a two week excursion to southern Sweden. The trip had been organised by Walford and North Shropshire college under a Leonardo da Vinci mobility project funded by the EU.
Published: 30 March 2015
Jupiter and Venus still dominate the evening sky, but towards the end of April, the "winged messenger", Mercury, will put in an appearance in evening twilight. Look low in the WNW sky around the 22nd April onwards for your best chance to see the "messenger" of the Gods!
Published: 27 February 2015
The attached map shows the Night Sky as seen in Mid March at around 20.00hrs. By looking Southwards and holding the chart with S at the bottom, the centre of the map will show the stars overhead with the Northern sky behind you. Using the map earlier than 20.00 will mean the star patterns - Constellations, to use the correct term - will be shifted slightly to the East , while using later in the evening, the constellations will have moved more to the West.
Published: 28 January 2015
The attached map shows the Night Sky as seen in Mid February at around 20.00hrs. By looking Southwards and holding the chart with S at the bottom, the centre of the map will show the stars overhead with the Northern sky behind you. Using the map earlier than 20.00 will mean the star patterns - Constellations, to use the correct term - will be shifted slightly to the East , while using later in the evening, the constellations will have moved more to the West.
Published: 28 January 2015
We welcomed Richard Hammond and the Top Gear crew to Elan in September last year. As a tribute to the incredible off road capabilities of the Land Rover, a Series I vehicle winched itself up the face of Claerwen Dam, with Richard Hammond at the wheel! This feature was broadcast on the BBC during February as part of the new series of Top Gear. You can watch it here on the BBC iPlayer.
Published: 26 January 2015
Reservoir Roundabout 2015 - Saturday
This annual event organised by Roy Davies and ‘The Roundabout Team’ was held on Saturday 3rd January 2015. For this event there are two routes for runners and walkers; a 13 mile trip and a 20 mile route for the braver.
With over 100 competitors the turnout was brilliant considering the wet, cold and misty weather. We want to thank our willing participants and extend our huge thanks to the volunteers and organisers for arranging the event and for the much needed refreshments provided.
Published: 24 December 2014
The map shows the Night Sky as seen in Mid January at around 20.00hrs. By looking Southwards and holding the chart with S at the bottom, the centre of the map will show the stars overhead with the Northern sky behind you. Using the map earlier than 20.00 will mean the star patterns - Constellations, to use the correct term - will be shifted slightly to the East , while using later in the evening, the constellations will have moved more to the West.
Published: 1 December 2014
Our Education Ranger Fiona Wase has recently returned from the WaterAid Supporters' Trip to Uganda. It allowed her to see first hand where money that has been generously donated in the Elan Valley has been used. For over a decade, every penny raised through events such as our Dam Open Days goes directly to support WaterAid projects in Uganda. She visited a village with a very poor quality water supply resulting in many people becoming ill every year. For these people there is simply no safe supply within walking distance.
Published: 28 November 2014
The map above shows the Night Sky as seen in Mid December at around 20.00hrs. By looking Southwards and holding the chart with S at the bottom, the centre of the map will show the stars overhead with the Northern sky behind you. Using the map earlier than 20.00 will mean the star patterns - Constellations, to use the correct term - will be shifted slightly to the East , while using later in the evening, the constellations will have moved more to the West.
Published: 31 October 2014
Giving space to better thinking!
A new partnership for the arts and the environment
Arts Council of Wales has teamed up with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to create a three year artist in residency programme for aspiring and leading artists at the company’s flagship Elan Valley estate in Powys.
Published: 30 October 2014
A Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water Education Ranger will get to see first-hand how international charity WaterAid transforms lives when she visits the charity’s safe water and sanitation projects in Uganda next month.
Published: 30 October 2014
The attached map shows the Night Sky as seen in November at around 20.00hrs. By looking Southwards and holding the chart with S at the bottom, the centre of the map will show the stars overhead with the Northern sky behind you.
Published: 29 October 2014
Powys dancers are counting down the days to their performance at an international dance festival in Cardiff next month.
Members of Powys Youth Dance Company and their older counterparts – Senior Moment(um) – are working with choreographer Joanna Young, Portuguese composer Filipe Sousa and filmmaker Simon Clode on ‘Under Dark Skies’.
Published: 8 October 2014
Pont ar Elan Bridge Replacement Works
All Residents and Visitors to the Elan Valley please note the Elan Valley road at Pont ar Elan will be closed on the following 4 days between 0800 and 1700 :-
8th December to 11th December 2014 - 4 days
We are sorry for the inconvenience caused.
PLEASE NOTE this does not mean the Elan Valley road is closed for visitors, one can still drive up to the top dam (Graig Goch) but you would need to turn around there ideally. COACHES and larger vehicles please note this.
Published: 19 September 2014
As part of the STEPtember Walks in the Cambrian Mountains, our Elan Valley Astronomy Rangers organised a marathon 5,913,000,000 km walk.
Thanks to the 25 people who turned up on Friday evening, the 19th Sept, in the Elan Valley.
Published: 19 May 2014
The Elan Valley Trust have appointed a part time Project Officer, Eluned Lewis to work on behalf of the Elenydd Partnership. Eluned will be looking carefully at the work previously undertaken for the Heritage Lottery Landscapes Partnership funding. She will looking closely at all the component projects which were within this bid and also additional potential project ideas which could be included in a revised bid which will be submitted in May 2015.
Published: 23 January 2014
Our updated DVD Elan Valley 'A Living Landscape' is now available. The updated film is presented by Iolo Williams. Call into the Visitor Centre for your copy or call 01597 810880. Soon to be available online at elanvalley.org.uk
Published: 23 January 2014
Ray Woods talks about the marvellous medicinal rarities to be found in your Elan Valley.... Listen to the BBC Radio 4 programme http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03q6dzy
Published: 23 January 2014
We would love to hear about your Elan Valley experiences ... Tweet us @elanvalleyteam
Published: 2 December 2013
The toilets in Elan Village and at Craig Goch Dam are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week all year round.
The toilets at Claerwen Dam are now open for the season.
Published: 14 November 2013
The Afon Rhiwnant has been notoriously difficult to cross on foot.
However the problem has been addressed by the Elan Valley Trust who have constructed a footbridge north of Dalrhiw Mine at approximate Grid Reference SN 888609.