Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Celebrate Earth Hour 2016

Earth Hour began 9 years ago in Sydney, Australia when the lights were switched off as a symbolic statement about climate change.  Since then the WWF Earth Hour has grown to become a massive global movement involving over 170 countries.

It takes place on 19th March this year at 8:30 pm and residents and organisations are encouraged to switch off their lights in a world moment of solidarity in the fight against climate change.

I first heard about the movement through reading Thinly Spread's blog, where her family participate each year, lighting candles and sparklers, snuggling around the fire and playing board games.

It's such a simple action, but you can use your power to make positive change. Last year, as well as individual households, over 10,400 landmarks and 2,000 schools participated and there were 70,500 events registered.


“Climate change is a people problem. People cause climate change and people suffer from climate change. People can also solve climate change. WWF’s Earth Hour shows what is possible when we unite in support of a cause.”


Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-Gene 


This year, there are a number of exciting events taking place around the country with the Forestry Commission.  Earth Hour in the forest is a series of events taking place throughout March from family-led torchlit walks looking out for nocturnal creatures, to star-gazing events led by professional astrologers:

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 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 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 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 is required and costs £10 per adults and £5 per child. Included is free parking and free refreshments.

Gisburn Forest, Lancashire
Recently receiving its Dark Sky Discovery Site status, visit Gisburn Forest for some 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 caf√© in advance, or book online at http://starryskiesathamsterley.eventbrite.com/


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.


If there isn't an event local to you, why not print out the free downloadable activity sheets and do your own event in your nearest forest, or even at home. Why not wrap up warm, grab a torch and a flask of hot chocolate and your favourite bedtime story and have an after-dark adventure in the woods?

Learn more about the WWF World Earth Hour here and follow the conversation on social media #EarthHourUK

25 comments:

  1. Thank you for the reminder about Earth Hour! It looks as though the Forestry Commission are organising some fab events that evening. There isn't one close to us so I'll have to have a think about what we can do to mark it!

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    1. You could try the free download activity sheets and organise your own family event!

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  2. Gosh how quickly time flies! It doesn't seem that long ago since Earth Hour last year! Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. I know! Can't believe it's March already.

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  3. I love how the Forestry Commission are organising events like these. We'll be turning our lights off in support of Earth Hour, it's the least we could do really

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    1. I think an after-dark adventure in the forest sounds really exciting.

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  4. I hadn't heard of Earth Hour before but I will definitely take part this year! There are no events close by but will switch everything off at home!

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    1. Glad I've helped spread the word! You could always use the free activity sheets.

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  5. It's great that Earth Hour has grown into such a varied event. It's such an important message to send to our kids.

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    1. Absolutely Cat! There's so many cool things going on.

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  6. What a great way to celebrate Earth Hour, there isn't an event local to me but I must let my mum know about the one in Cumbria.

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  7. I knew that there was an Earth Day, but didn't know about Earth Hour - sounds to me like a great idea to make us take note of the energy we use and how it affects climate change.

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    1. Glad I've helped you know about it.

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  8. I hadn't heard of earth hour before your post, but I am going to see what is happening locally to us!

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  9. Ooh thanks for the reminder as to this years date and time - we have taken part by turning everything off for an hour the last few years - the kids think its an adventure and it is a great way to start a conversation about the importance of caring for the planet.

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  10. There are some fabulous events for Earth Hour there, i will have to see if we have anything locally, or like you say we could just switch off and enjoy a mug of hot chocolate.

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  11. I am looking forward to my boys being a little older and doing the nights in the forest with them. At the moment they would be really grumpy as they are in bed for 8 most nights. We are making a shaving foam paint world and last year we made one with tissue paper.

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  12. We joined in with this last year except it was the wrong day, but even so, we made the effort and it is a really good way to talk about the bigger picture with the children. Thank you for the reminder

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  13. I haven't heard of Earth Hour before, sounds like a wonderful idea, off to see if there are any events taking place in Northern Ireland for the occasion!xx

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  14. I too hadn't heard about Earth Hour. It would be great to get involved x

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  15. Such a shame there is nothing locally near us. I love stargazing

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  16. Ooooh, fab, I am just printing off the activities now.

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