Sky news (literally): This Welsh island with little light pollution has just received a rare honour

A North Wales island has received an internationally recognised status as a Dark Sky Sanctuary - the first place in Europe to do so.

International Dark Sky Sanctuaries are usually in remote locations where the quality of night skies are generally unthreatened.

Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island) joins only 16 other sites across the world.

The island is located two miles from the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula on the North Wales coast.

Light from the mainland is fairly limited as the island's mountain serves as an effective barrier.

The nearest major light pollution is in Dublin - over 70 miles across the Irish Sea.

The population of the island has fluctuated over the centuries and it is said to have been inhabited from as early as the Bronze Age.

A small community of residents live on the island today, working the land and fishing from the island.

It is also a popular location during the holiday season, with 10 cottages providing somewhere to stay for the island's visitors.

To be given the official international status a four-year programme was completed which used technology to monitor night sky quality.

The results needed to show that the sky was sufficiently dark to qualify, and a lighting management plan and photographic evidence were also required.

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Sian Stacey, Chair of the Bardsey Island Trust said: "There's no doubt that achieving this prestigious status for Ynys Enlli will raise the profile of the island as a unique place in Wales and amongst the best in the world to appreciate the night sky.

"We hope it will also go a long way in securing the long-term sustainability of the island."

Ruskin Hartley, executive director of the International Dark Sky Association added: "We are pleased to welcome Ynys Enlli to the growing community of dark sky places worldwide.

"With it, Wales is fast becoming one of the leading nations in protecting dark skies as a precious resource that benefits people and wildlife."

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Mari Huws works as a warden on Ynys Enlli and has been part of the process to achieve the island's certification.

She said: "Living here I am always in awe of the island's beauty - and the night sky is very much a part of that.

"Having secured the certification, we look forward to welcoming visitors here over the coming months and years and sharing with them our unique story."