Announcing Peak Star Party 2014, 17 to 20 October
Peak Star Party 2014 has now been confirmed for the weekend Friday 17 to Monday 20 October.
This is the fourth year of the “all new” Peak Star Party which is one of the largest astronomy events in the country with around 200 resident astronomers, guest speakers, practical workshops and events for the whole family. It runs each October at Shallow Grange, near Chelmorton, Buxton, right in the heart of the Peak District. Whatever your interest in astronomy, we cater for beginners and experts alike and take pride in our reputation for being one of the friendliest star parties in the country!
You will also be able to take part in our bottle rocket competition, try your hand at making telescopes, learn your way around the night sky, observe the fascinating and ever-changing surface of the sun and find out about your local astronomy club. You might even go away with that perfect gift idea in time for Christmas!
We have been working hard to improve Peak Star Party year on year; for 2014 we can offer:
- Indoor and outdoor trade stands with a wide variety of telescopes and equipment being demonstrated and on sale
- Extended catering options with a noodle bar as well as the normal catering van providing hot meals from 10 am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday and from midday Friday with breakfast and light snacks on Monday morning.
- "Honesty Box" refreshments from the Information Point out of hours - hot and cold drinks available through the night for day visitors
- Improved "wet weather" provisions including evening talks, quizzes and films
- More events and practical workshops to be announced...
Programme for PSP2014
We have built on the experience we gained in the last three years to put on what we think is our best ever programme for 2014. We have a mix of practical demonstrations and talks, with telescope and imaging clinics and an under-cover Astroboot.
We have even agreed use of the main barn to 10pm for an astro quiz and films if the weather is not on our side!
The following plan shows the main camping fields and facilities at Shallow Grange
The shower and toilet block has full underfloor heating with wheelchair-friendly access. It is located centrally (green outline).
The MARS Field has 19 pitches with 8A Electric Hook-up (EHU). The five pitches closest to the entrance have heavy duty rubber webbing underneath and are suitable for larger camper vans and small to medium motor homes; the remaining thirteen pitches are suitable for caravans.
The SATURN Field has 31 tent pitches, of which 10 have 8A electricity supply.
The NEPTUNE Field has space for at least an additional 92 tent pitches, including eight with 8A EHU. It also has seven powered pitches next to a gravel track which are suitable for small camper vans (VW camper and similar).
All electricity at Shallow Grange is supplied through pre-paid card meters. Each Touring Field booking includes a £1 card (currently equivalent to about 6kWh) per night. Additional cards can be purchased through the marshals at any reasonable time during the event.
Cards may be added to the meter at any time and any wholly unused cards will be refunded at the end of your visit.
All EHU pitches share a hookup point with their neighbouring pitch via a splitter that we will provide. This worked very well in 2011 with no arguments over who used what and we will be using the same approach this year.
For people on pitches without EHU, a free battery charging facilities will be available to recharge telescope and laptop batteries during the Star Party, subject to a reasonable use policy.
Site rules forbid use of generators anywhere on the farm.
Telephones & WiFi
Shallow Grange do not provide public telephones or WiFi access. However, mobile phone and 3G reception is generally OK to good - please see your operator's coverage map for details.
The central Facilities Block houses ladies', gents' and wheelchair-friendly showers and toilets. This block was refitted in 2011 with environmentally friendly rainwater harvesting, waste heat recycling and low energy LED lights and has underfloor heating throughout. Additional facilities may be provided at peak times.
The Facilities Block also houses recycling bins and an Elsan waste disposal point.
Day visitors park in a field near the road - this is to limit intrusion from car lights, etc. Day visitors with heavy scopes will be welcome to drive to the entrance to the MARS field to drop off and collect equipment; this will be subject to a walking lead while red light rules are in force.
Site lighting will be minimised for the duration of the Star Party so please remember to bring a torch, spare batteries and a good red light filter. All external site lights that cannot be switched off will be fitted with red light filters.