Copyright Andy Hay, RSPBThe Forest of Bowland AONB is of national and international importance because of its unspoiled and richly diverse landscapes, wildlife and heritage, with outstanding heather moorland, blanket bog and rare birds.

Thirteen percent of the AONB is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its habitats and geological features.

The extensive heather moorlands of the fells are exceptionally important as a habitat for upland birds and have been designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the European Birds Directive in recognition of this.

In partnership with RSPB, Natural England and United Utilities, Lancashire County Councils Countryside Service is playing host to the Bowland Hen Harrier Project at the Bowland Visitor Centre, Beacon Fell. Footage of a Hen Harrier nest in the Bowland Fells can be viewed  at the Visitor Centre on Beacon Fell Country Park near Preston.

For details of RSPB's Sky Dancer project and exclusive footage of a hen harrier nest in Bowland in 2011 go to www.rspb.org.uk/skydancer

Also, for all those wildlife enthusiasts out there! a number of sustainable tourism businesses in the Forest of Bowland have joined together to provide a fantastic website blogging about wildlife in the AONB visit www.bowlandwildlife.org.uk or for businesses in wider Lancashire visit www.lancashirewildlife.org.uk