CELEBRITY stargazer Sir Patrick Moore has backed a call by a Kendal astronomer to make the Lake District Britain's first dark sky reserve,' reports Sarah Penn.

The veteran presenter of The Sky at Night told The Westmorland Gazette that the national park would be an ideal spot' for such a reserve, which could draw in a cluster of starry-eyed tourists.

The idea has come from secretary of Kendal's Eddington Astronomical Society and Gazette Sky Watch astronomy columnist, Stuart Atkinson, who believes the skies are an untapped resource.

He hopes that establishing what he has called a dark sky reserve' would halt the spread of light pollution across the Lake District and help boost the lifeblood tourist industry.

No official dark sky reserve' designation exists in Britain but Mr Atkinson would like a body such as the Lake District National Park Authority to promote, or possibly even re-brand, the park as a special and rare place where people can enjoy the night sky.

Popular TV astronomer and Lake District fan Sir Patrick Moore told the Gazette: "It's the ideal place for a reserve and I'm all for it. The Lake District is very peaceful and unlike many places in Britain, where you can't see the stars at all."