LCC Countryside

Activities

Plans have been produced for Greater Butterfly orchid, Globeflower and Juniper.

All three plans are underway.

6th January 2016

Peatland restoration work on the Bowland Fell SSSI units (those which are unfavourable recovering) is ongoing as budgets allow. In the autumn of 2015, EA budget was identified and allocated to Brown Syke, Abbeystead. By the end of March 2016, the works to reseed the already re-profiled bare peat and hags will have been completed. Tender specs produced by AONB staff, project managed by LCC staff, reporting to EA by AONB staff.

6th October 2015 to 31st March 2016

The new Countryside Stewardship scheme (NELMS as was) encourages catchment based action through the funding of Facilitation Groups through a competitive process. In 2015, RRT were successful in getting funding for a group on the Loud catchment and the AONB team have contributed in the targeting of this group -  in particular - areas within the catchment where boundary restoration is a priority; farms with potential for meadow restoration.

1st September 2015 to 1st September 2019

In Jan 2015, it was decided that a woodland survey was the top habitat survey priority. As the staff resource was limited, the number of BHS sites alone within the AONB is 197 and because the Pendle LPS area has recently been deliniated, it was decided that it made good sense to start off with the survey of the BHS woodlands within the Pendle area. This was done using the LWT rapid assessment method. 40% of sites were surveyed in the spring of 2015, the rest will be done in the spring of 2016. The rapid assessment method was very effective in showing management needed, and the results from the sample were used in drawing up the Pendle LPS application. trainees from the Biodiverse Society project helped in the 2015 survey, as did colleagues from the AONB & LCC team.

1st March 2015 to 30th September 2016

Bowland Revealed is an exciting arts offer designed to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Forest of Bowland AONB. A partnership project between LCC Arts Development Service, the AONB and Ribble Valley Borough Council, the programme has received funding from Arts Council England, via their Grants for the Arts strand, and from the partner organisations.

Landmarks (managed by Mid Pennine Arts) were a series of four ambitious, temporary outdoor visual arts commissions inspired by the Bowland landscape and sited in popular locations around the AONB.  On show from September to late December 2014 (Sun Catcher until October 2015) the project attracted attention from BBC's Countryfile programme.

50 Years in the Making (Managed by Green Close) ran from June to December 2014 and engaged local residents, visitors, schools and artists through a series of workshops and exhibitions.

Bowland Explorers' Club (Managed by Mid Pennine Arts) began in May 2015 offering a programme of creative participation which particularly targets communities living around the AONB.  The Explorers' Club has visited Cloudspotting (Gisburn Forest Hub), Blackburn Heritage Festival, Burnley Canal Festival; Hopeful & Glorious Art Fair (Lytham), Garstang Victorian Christmas Fair and Brockholes Visitor Centre (x2) In partnership with Wild Rumpus, the club organised a final celebration event in March 2016, again at Gisburn Forest, which attracted over 250 participants.  Branches of the club also worked with In Situ in Brierfield, with Ground Up, linked to the Burnley Mechanics At Home group, and with a group in Bolton.

A Bowland Revealed discussion/evaluation workshop is planned for late April 2016.

6th May 2014 to 30th April 2016

During the summer of 2014 & 2015, large amounts of Himalayan Balsam were pulled from the hedges and edges of Clear Beck Meadow. It was reported that less was in evidence in 2015 than in 2014, but the location of the site next to a water course mewans that this needs to be an ongoing management action. The work was undertaken by AONB, LCC & NE staff together with members of Friends of Bowland.

An assessment is needed as to the next steps of restoration - soil compaction has been identified as a problem.

1st May 2014 to 1st May 2019

An assessment of the peatland restoration work still to be completed within the AONB area was undertaken as the Priority peat 2013 project, which was produced as a report in April 2014. The matrix approach allows priorities for action to be determined based on a large number of datasets and consultation with key partners. It has since been used to prioritise sites to be put into EU LIFE+ bids (2014 & 2015) and to direct EA funds to 'shovel ready' projects (eg work on Brown Syke, Abbeystead).

1st April 2014

The N4N project aimed to help create a living network of nectar hubs for bees and other pollinating invertebrates across the AONB by creating small patches of species rich grassland and corn field annual patches, mainly on non-farmed land such as in school grounds, businesses and community spaces.

The project created 25 nectar patches, 7 mini-meadows and worked at a field scale to restore 35 ha of meadows as well. The project worked with 10 community groups, 6 private landowners, 10 businesses and 5 schools. We organised 12 public events, attracting 170 people.

1st April 2014 to 31st March 2016

Working group re-established in April 2014.

Will meet approx twice per year and direct biodiversity delivery through the development of annual delivery plans, made up from work across the delivery group.

1st April 2014

Separate Festival Bowland events brochure produced for 2014.

Festival Bowland programme for 2015 included as part of Discover Bowland guide.

2016 programme currently under development and will be included as part of discovery guide again.

1st January 2014

Actions

1.1 Landscape
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.1F Develop plan for managing landscape change due to loss of woodland and veteran trees through increased incidence of tree disease (e.g. Phytophthera ramorum, Chalara fraxinea).
Hold woodland management seminar/field visit
2014
Management plan developed
2015
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2.1 Farming and Land Management
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
2.1H Support the development of local woodfuel economy, linked to improved woodland management and focusing on smaller and less-accessible sites
Commission research to collate evidence of existing and past traditional woodland management in the AONB
2014
Hold woodland management seminar/field visit
2014
Secure funding for at least 1 pilot 'woodfuel' project in the AONB
2016
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3.2 Public Rights of Way and Access Land
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
3.2B Support the management of, and access to 'Access Land' in the AONB
Establish 'Access Land' as a standing item for Bowland Land Managers Forum
Annually
Annual report to Local Access Forums on 'Access Land' issues
Annually
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3.1E Identify external funding sources to support the development of new strategic routes and submit bids, where appropriate
Strategic routes fundraising plan developed
2014
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3.3 Visitor Management
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
3.3B Develop and share best practice amongst countryside site managers and management groups (e.g. Friends groups)to consider development of visitor facilities, minimising impact on landscape and biodiversity and refreshing signage and interpretation with AONB 'messages', wherever possible
Investigate demand for establishing AONB Countryside Site Managers group
2014
Establish a list of AONB 'honeypot' sites including details of site management arrangements
2014
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