The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) All Our Stories grant, it was announced today. This exciting project, A Leap in the Park, will tell the story of two medieval deer parks which once existed near to Chipping and Whitewell.
All Our Stories, a brand new small grant programme, launched earlier this year in support of BBC Two's The Great British Story has been designed as an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage. This popular series presented by historian Michael Wood got thousands of us asking questions about our history.
In the Forest of Bowland AONB a group of volunteers have been researching the origins of the deer parks and their impact on the landscape. This grant will now enable more people to get involved and to explore this fascinating heritage. Guided walks and workshops will help people to discover the remains of the deer park boundary - or 'pale' - and to look into the history of place names and farm and family names which link the original park with the modern day landscape. Digital walking guides and a website, plus a pack for schools will also enable people to discover more about the heritage of this special area for themselves. Keep up to date with the latest information on A Leap in the Park webpage.
TV presenter and historian Michael Wood said : "We British love our history, and no wonder: few nations in the world, if any, have such riches on their doorstep, and so much of it accessible to all of us. It is really tremendous that the people of Bowland have been inspired to get involved to tell their own story and to dig deeper into their own past. It's brilliant that so many people are being given the chance to get involved through the All Our Stories grants. Having travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles last year filming The Great British Story, I am certain that fascinating and moving stories will be uncovered which will not only bring to life the excitement of local history, but will illuminate and enrich every community's connection with the national narrative."
Commenting on the award, Cathy Hopley of the AONB team said: "This award is great news for Bowland, and particularly for the volunteers involved in this project from Lancashire Gardens Trust and Chipping Local History Society. We hope that during 2013 many more people will have the opportunity to take a walk in the medieval deer parks and to find out more about this fascinating period of history."
Sara Hilton, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: "Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of story tellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what the grant will do for the 'A Leap in the Park project' as they embark on a real journey of discovery."