Festival Bowland is a year round calendar of events that celebrates the birds, landscape, wildlife and culture of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Events this month include the Hen Harrier Safari, Whimbrel Roost Watch and Bike and Barrow Festival, for details of these and much more download the programme from the website homepage www.forestofbowland.com
School Children Learn about Bowland's Special Wildlife
The Forest of Bowland AONB / RSPB Outreach Education Project has worked with over 1000 school children in 27 primary schools in and around the Forest of Bowland AONB since it began in 2008.
During the project children learn about the importance of the AONB and it's key habitats and learn that it is a special place for wildlife, especially hen harriers, lapwings and curlews. The project also brings the children onto local farms and involves schools in the Big Schools' Bird Watch.
This year (2010.11) the project is working with the following schools: Bleasdale CE Primary; Caton Community Primary; Caton St Pauls CE Primary; Hornby St Margaret's CE Primary; Newchurch-in-Pendle St Mary's CE Primary; Roughlee CE Primary; Sabden Primary; St Joseph's RC Primary, Hurst Green; St Mary's RC Primary, Chipping; St Mary's RC Primary, Sabden and Thorneyholme RC Primary, Dunsop Bridge.
Spring has arrived and it's a wonderful time of year - blackthorn flowers emerge in the hedgerows and lambs fill the fields! Wading birds such as lapwing, curlew, snipe and redshank are returning to farmland to begin nest building – the tumbling display of the lapwing and the bubbling call of the curlew are some of the most evocative sights and sounds of spring in Bowland.
Have a look at our walk of the month which is also a Tramper friendly trail starting at Cobble Hey Farm and Gardens
If you have any feedback about the walks that you have enjoyed in the Forest of Bowland we have now incorporated a new facility for you to tell us! Go to www.forestofbowland.com/walking_routes find the relevant walk and click 'View/Add Comments' – we look forward to hearing from you.
Also, have a look at our new Arts, Crafts and Rural Skills directory on the website – there's a wealth of talent across the area http://www.forestofbowland.com/producerlist_arts
If you are not currently listed in the directory and are located or operate in the AONB contact email@example.com
We have recently updated and re-printed some of our most popular leaflets including the Birding, Fishing and General Leaflet. We've also produced a new Tea Shops leaflet and we've re-vamped the Taste Directory and Discovery Guide. They are all available from Brochurelink and businesses can order their leaflets for free if they are a member of the Sustainable Tourism Network – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not know your login details.
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March 31st saw the closure of the HLF Landscape Stories project as two years of work officially came to an end.
Thanks to the help and enthusiasm of residents, visitors, local businesses and a range of experts, we've encountered everything from Global Positioning Systems and 300 million year old rocks to shave horses and cheese stones.
Over 600 people have taken part in the AONB's heritage project, which has taken a closer look at the Forest of Bowland landscape and how it has influenced, and in turn been shaped by, some of our traditional rural industries and activities.
History enthusiasts in Pendle Forest have been trained in archaeological techniques, whilst volunteers have worked alongside staff from Slaidburn Archive to record lime kilns large and small. Primary school children have encountered their local heritage first-hand and families have enjoyed the chance to get creative with some very talented artists and crafts people.
And although the Landscape Stories project has now finished, we have captured our discoveries and celebrations in an interactive book which will be available on the Forest of Bowland website in the very near future. So, keep your eyes open and check out www.forestofbowland.com/landscape_stories, where you'll be able to catch up on all our adventures!
The History of Cheese Making in Lancashire
Margaret Panikkar has been fascinated by cheese making for many years. She observed 'cheese stones' - the large blocks of stone that were once used in early cheese presses - on many farms in this area. These stones however, were no longer being used to press cheese, but had been recycled into other uses: corner stones for a new building, mounting blocks, tractor weight blocks, milk stands (another forgotten item) and more bizarrely in one case as a garden lamp stand!
Margaret has written a book called 'Pressing the cheese – original research into the history of cheese making in Lancashire prior to 1840'. It contains diagrams and photos of early cheese presses and cheese stones and their new uses. Margaret details the parishes where stones have been found or recorded in inventories of possessions used by the authorities for taxation purposes - death duties. Why not purchase a copy to find out more!
Her booklet,' Pressing the Cheese', is available from Clitheroe and Longridge libraries and from the author, Margaret Panikkar (Bromiley, Ribchester Road, Clayton-le-Dale, Blackburn, BB1 9EG) priced £3.50 which includes postage. The AONB and Landscape Stories were delighted to help get this story into print.
Excavations in Progress
The North Lancashire Bridleway passes an ancient lime kiln near Lickhurst Farm at the back of Chipping. The landowner was happy for us to find some volunteers to help excavate it carefully to try and expose more of the entrance, and maybe to find some items from olden times that would have been discarded or lost when the site was in use – 100- 150 years ago. Volunteers have spent 2 days there now and it's hard going! Tree roots from a nearby Sycamore are the main problem, but the site itself is delightful with two streams merging into a cascade of water where a dipper is nesting. The first day we worked we had a brains trust of experts – Muriel Lord (farmer, geologist and historian), David Fisher (bats) and Tony Parnell (birds, spinning and weaving!). We've found nothing of archaeological interest so far but must be getting close!
Excavation by community volunteers is planned for later in the year at School Lane Car Park at Stocks reservoir. The foundations of St James church are still in place – only the upper part was moved to its new location. An avenue of trees that used to lead up to the door of the church remains and the intention is to expose some foundations and erect interpretation linking this old site (where once there was a church and nearby school) with the new site for St James's chapel.
If you want to get involved contact email@example.com 01200 448000
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Award for Sustainable Tourism
The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism is awarded to protected areas which improve the sustainable development and management of tourism, and which ensure that this takes account of the needs of the environment, local residents, businesses and visitors. This is the second time that the Forest of Bowland AONB has been awarded the Charter, and it is the only protected area in England to achieve this honour to date. The award was presented by Ms Carol Ritchie, Director of the EUROPARC Federation and received on behalf of the Forest of Bowland AONB by County Councillor Albert Atkinson who is chair of the AONB's joint advisory committee. Carol Ritchie said \"The Forest of Bowland AONB is leading the way in working with tourism businesses, and we are impressed with their partnership approach and the good practice they promote. We hope that the AONB will continue to go from strength to strength and be a shining beacon to other Charter areas in the UK.\"
The Charter was awarded at the Tithe Barn at Browsholme Hall near Clitheroe, and as part of the day's proceedings local tourism entrepreneurs were also recognised for their contribution to making their own businesses more sustainable.
There are currently 35 tourism operators which have completed the Green Tourism Award and have been awarded the EUROPARC Charter Partner certificate. These are now included amongst 200 similar businesses in 75 protected areas across the EUROPARC Charter Network. For further information visit http://www.forestofbowland.com/visit_european_charter_business
New Tramper for Hire
Bowland Tourism Environment Fund (BTEF) was formed in 2009 and has so far raised £11,163 from visitor donations and has also received a lottery grant to purchase a Tramper for Bowland Experience. We are also delighted that Ribble Valley Inns are supporting the scheme at The Three Fishes pub at Mitton; they have introduced visitor payback to support BTEF and invite diners to contribute 20p each towards the Tramper scheme – a great effort!
BTEF continues to provide small grants (maximum £500) for local community projects. In the last year this has included restoration of traditional paving in Dunsop Bridge, wildlife interpretation in the children's playground in Scorton and the RSPB primary schools outreach education project.
If you are interested in applying for a BTEF grant visit www.bowlandtefund.org
Bowland Experience Grows in Strength
Bowland Experience Limited (BEx) was formed in 2010 and now has 60 members. In its first trading year, the company made a profit of £1300 which has been donated to the Bowland Tourism Environment Fund. The company has already been involved in organising business training and publicity leaflets. It is about to launch a new \"Tramper for Hire\" - available for Bowland Experience members to host for their visitors, to increase opportunities for access to the countryside.
Currently, we are looking at how the AONB and BEx can work together to provide visitor information by using websites and Smartphone \"apps\" - watch this space!
To become a member of Bowland Experience contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lancashire's Green County
Since commencement in October 2008 the Lancashire Green Tourism project has supported 37 businesses through GTBS, joining the 15 already accredited in 2007 in the Forest of Bowland. There are also an additional 12 businesses awaiting grading. Businesses in the Forest of Bowland who have recently been accredited will receive their awards at Ribby Hall on 5th May. These include Waddow Lodge Garden and The Highwayman Inn. The project is due to complete in October of this year and will have achieved its aim of putting Lancashire and the Forest of Bowland well and truly on the map as a green tourism destination.
For a full list of green accredited businesses visit www.lancashiregreentourism.com
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|Landscape & Wildlife
Potential Hydro Sites Identified
The Forest of Bowland AONB, in partnership with the Local Strategic Partnerships for Lancaster, Ribble Valley, and Pendle Borough and Lancashire County Council, has been investigating the potential that the AONB holds for generating renewable electricity using hydropower. Over the last few months engineers from Inter Hydro Technology have investigated 36 sites across the area including farms, weirs and historic mills. Some fantastic sites have been discovered, and due to the fact that renewable energy can now also generate revenue, in the form of Feed in Tariffs, some of the best sites will not only generate free power, but will also pay for themselves in under 12 years. In total we estimate that if all sites were developed the capacity would be just under 1000kW, saving over 2000 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
The initial report will be published soon, the 5 stage two sites, which will be further investigated by the consultants are Higherford mill, Pendle; Abbeystead reservoir, Lancaster; Skerton weir, Lancaster; Primrose Mill, Ribble Valley and Waddow weir, Ribble Valley. In all cases landscape, biodiversity and heritage issues will be thoroughly investigated and the necessary permissions and licences will have to be granted before development work can start.
For more information contact Cathy Hopley email@example.com
Climate Change Adaptation Plan
Working closely with Natural England and Ribble Valley Borough Council the Forest of Bowland AONB has commissioned Atkins consultants to develop an Adaptation Plan for climate change in the AONB. This will form part of a suite of studies which Natural England is producing throughout the North West.
The Forest of Bowland is generally seen as an area that will be quite resilient to the effects of climate change – we will not suffer from sea level rises, and because we have ranges in altitude and aspect many habitats and species can adapt to changing weather patterns by moving up or down hill, or from north to south facing slopes, or vice versa. However, some of our more special and fragile habitats such as blanket bog, upland hay meadows, woodlands and parklands, may struggle to survive the hotter drier summers and warmer wetter winters which are predicted, along with periods of drought and flooding. The Adaptation Plan therefore sets out a series of management guidelines which landowners and managers and advisors can use to help make the landscape more resilient, and help it to adapt to climate change.
The Plan will be published in April, for more information contact Cathy Hopley firstname.lastname@example.org
Haven for Lapwings and other Waders at Alston
United Utilities converted a reservoir at Alston, near Longridge into a nature reserve several years ago. It has become a prime site for breeding lapwings and other waders in an area that is surrounded by intensively managed grassland. In February, rushes that had become too successful in the wet conditions were cut down to size by several volunteers (RSPB, Wild Life Trust and others). The day was beautiful. We were kitted up with brushcutters, ear defenders and faceguards and appreciated the day all the more when we stopped for lunch and noticed all the displaced lapwings on a nearby reservoir banking, moodily waiting for us to finish the noisy work. The site has been fenced by United Utilities to deter predators, a sand martin bank was built over the winter and hides have been erected along Pinfold Lane giving easier access to view the nesting birds. It is well worth a visit. As we left the site, the sun was sinking and we heard the lapwings noisily reclaiming their territory.
For further information contact email@example.com
Fond Farewell to Don
Sadly the time has come to bid farewell to Don! Don has made a fantastic contribution to the management of the Forest of Bowland AONB for over 20 years – through all the initiatives and partners he's worked with, he has certainly left his mark. From all the team we wish him well for an active and enjoyable retirement, as well as some well earned rest. Don you'll be missed!
Stepping into Don's shoes to manage and lead the AONB team will be Nick Osborne firstname.lastname@example.org and Elliott Lorimer email@example.com Nick will manage the team as part of his current role managing Lancashire County Council's ranger and information services, country parks and picnic sites. Elliott will work as the Principal AONB Officer, guiding the day-to-day activities of the team and coordinating the delivery of the AONB Management Plan. Until now, Elliott has been working with similar landscape partnerships in the West Pennine Moors and the Southern Pennines, as well representing LCC on Arnside and Silverdale AONB Committees.
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|The Forest of Bowland AONB - a place to enjoy and keep special!
The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a nationally protected landscape and is international important
for its heather moorland, blanket bog and rare birds. The AONB is managed by a partnership of landowners, farmers, voluntary
organisations, wildlife groups, recreation groups, local councils and government agencies, who work to protect, conserve and enhance the
natural and cultural heritage of this special area. For more information visit www.forestofbowland.com