Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society (KOAS) is an educational charity and small science outreach centre which promotes interest in astronomy and enables the public to benefit from the creation of a unique observatory facility under the darkest skies in England. We run over 700 events a year, attended by c. 20,000 people each year, and manage an extensive education outreach programme, engaging with c.10,000 school children each year, along with arts and science programmes.
Our mission is to create opportunities for people of all backgrounds and abilities to experience moments of inspiration, revelation, wonder and hope through observing the cosmos.
Our observatory, based on the top of Black Fell in the heart of Kielder Forest, provides the most magical views of the dark skies in the second largest Gold Standard Dark Skies region in Europe. It is part of a huge art and architecture trail around Kielder Forest and Water Park and is a spectacular sight in its own right. Built entirely of timber, we work hard to remain environmentally friendly and run as a sustainable charity. To do this we limit our light pollution, have installed compostable toilets, heat our buildings using wood burners and remain completely off-grid with our power supply.
As the North East’s Small Tourism Attraction of the year 2022, we want to provide the best possible experiences for our visitors. Our wind turbine is therefore a vital part of our sustainability as an organisation. It allows us to deliver our events every night of the year, educate and inspire audiences of all ages and backgrounds and help promote the wonders of the universe to all. By raising money to replace our current wind turbine with one that is more efficient, we will be guaranteeing our future for many years to come, allowing us to continue to make astronomy and STEM accessible and increase the impact of our work to many more visitors.