Forest of Bowland Farmer Group

The Forest of Bowland Farmer Group has been developed by the Forest of Bowland National Landscape, through the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme. It aims to act as a contact group for Farmers within the Forest of Bowland National Landscape to provide support and connectivity during the agricultural transition. The group was established in April 2023 and is funded to run until the end of March 2025. 

Over the two year period we will host ten themed meetings, delivering information on relevant farming topics which will help farmers adjust during the agricultural transition. The meetings will be held on farms where possible, with farmers who are already involved in that topic, with key speakers and partner organisations invited to deliver information. We hope that these events will be informative, give farmers the chance to explore farming opportunities, and help to develop new friendships and contacts across the National Landscape.

Alongside these events, we will be sending quarterly e-newsletters and email updates which will include details of potential funding opportunities, local training courses and meetings, updates from the rural crime and policing team, and of course our own Forest of Bowland Farmer Group events.

There is no charge for becoming a member and you can choose how involved you want to be, there is no pressure to attend all the meetings. To sign up please click this link and complete your details.

Croasdale Farm meeting August 23Forest of Bowland Farmer Group Meetings

We delivered four on farm meetings in the financial year 23/24, each being well attended and we have received very positive feedback. Summaries of each meeting can be found in the e-newsletters further down this page. The themes of the meetings were -

  • June 23 - Regenerative Agriculture at Old Hall Farm, Roughlee
  • August 23 - Nature Friendly Farming in Bowland at Croasdale Farm, Slaidburn
  • Nov 23 - Water, Woodlands & Natural Flood Management at Brackenhurst Farm, Tosside
  • Feb 23 - Farming & Working with Waders at Lawkland Hall Farm, Eldroth

Carter Fold FarmOur next meeting is -

'Woodland management, & choosing the right trees for the right place'
Wednesday 8th May 2024 
11.00am start - 3.00pm (ish) finish
Carter Fold Farm, Waddington / Waddington Village Club

Bluebells in Hospital WoodOur next meeting is kindly being hosted by Graham & Sarah Whitwell of Carter Fold Farm, Waddington, alongside guest speakers from the Ribble Rivers Trust, Forestry Commission, and the Lancashire Treescapes Team. Carter Fold Farm is a grassland farm extending to 74ha and livestock comprises of 500 breeding ewes, finishing up to 800 lambs a year and rearing up to 150 replacements a year, a small herd of Pedigree Beef Shorthorn cattle were established in 2023 and dairy heifers are taken for wintering.

Starting with a farm walk led by Sarah at 11am, we will hear how the Whitwell's have worked with their landlord and the Forestry Commission to get Hospital Wood into the Higher Tier Stewardship Scheme.  Hospital Wood is a semi natural woodland extending over 6 ha and is a registered Ancient Semi Natural Woodland and a Biological Heritage Site. The Whitwell's undertook their own Woodland Management Plan funded by the Forestry Commission and this process will be discussed during the farm walk including entering the woodland into Higher Tier Stewardship.  We will get the opportunity to walk through the woodland and the bluebells should be in full bloom.

Trees at Carter Fold FarmOver 5000m of hedgerows have been managed under Mid-Tier Stewardship since 2018 and this year under FiPL additional in field trees will be planted to enhance the veteran in field trees in the pastures. The family have worked with the Ribble Rivers Trust establishing riparian habitat schemes planting over 1000 trees and buffering watercourses.  The emphasis at Carter Fold is very much about producing quality lamb with an emphasis on nature and for this tenant farmer it has to be 'Right Tree Right Place!'

After the walk, we will head to Waddington club house at around 1pm for lunch, and this will then be followed by presentations from the Ribble Rivers Trust, Forestry Commission, and Lancashire Treescapes Team.

Booking is essential, email or phone 01200 448 000. Off road parking will be available at Waddington Almshouses BB7 3JB – parking will be signposted. No access via Carter Fold Farm yard

Dairy Cow taken by Mark TattersallQuarterly e-newsletters

Members received quarterly e-newsletters. Please click on the links to read the e-newsletters sent out so far. 

2023-2024 e-newsletters

2024 - 2025 e-newsletters

Meeting with the Ribble Rivers TrustUseful Contacts for Farmers

Click here to view and download our helpful list of contacts within the local area who can offer advice on different aspects of farming. We hope this will prove useful and save you some time in trying to make contact with those you need! This will be updated as time goes on so do check back.

For more information please contact Nichola Gill on or 01200 448000 (part time hours)