Time spent outdoors can be great for our wellbeing and provide endless opportunities for making, and re-living, happy memories.
Through our Days to Remember project we'd like to encourage older people and people living with dementia, alongside family members and carers, to explore and enjoy this beautiful area.
Experiencing Bowland through walking, wildlife spotting and picnicing - or perhaps some star gazing or local history! - can be great fun and we'd love to hear what you would enjoy. (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to complete our short, online survey.)
Of course, there are times when a trip to the great outdoors isn't possible and, at those times, we do hope you'll enjoy a virtual "visit" to the Forest of Bowland with the suggestions and ideas on this page.
With everything from a relaxing guided meadow meditation to tips and resources for making your own Great Outdoors Memory Box, there are lots of ways to keep connected to nature!
GREAT OUTDOORS MEMORY BOX
We developed our memory box with Lancashire County Council's Heritage Learning Team and it's full of activities designed to trigger positive recollections and encourage conversation about past countryside visits and adventures.
The box itself is normally free to hire from Lancashire libraries but, unfortunately, due to coronavirus this part of the loans service has been temporarily suspended.
In the meantime, why not take a look at the ideas below and have fun making up your very own Great Outdoors Memory Box! (Please note that some of the resources suggested below will be difficult to clean so, during the Covid-19 pandemic, they should only be used by one individual, or left out of your box for now.)
WILDFLOWER PLAYING CARDS
We've put photographs of beautiful Bowland wildflowers on each of the five sheets below (three different flowers on each sheet - 15 flowers altogether). Why not print them all off (or as many as you need), then cut them out and laminate them so that they last longer and are easier to keep clean?
Each flower is duplicated, which means you can play all sorts of games with them – like Snap! or Pairs.
- Bird's eye primrose, Yellow rattle, Melancholy thistle cards
- Common spotted orchid, Bird's foot trefoil, Speedwell cards
- Ox-eye daisy, Red campion, Globe flower cards
- Primrose, Bluebell, Red clover cards
- Ramsons, Meadow craneshill, Mouse-ear hawk bit cards
FOREST OF BOWLAND PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM
People have enjoyed visiting Bowland for decades and many of us will have fond memories of favourite places, childhood visits or family picnic spots.
We've put together photographs of some of the places we love in the Forest of Bowland and we hope you enjoy looking through to see if you recognise any of them. Why not print them out and make your very own "album" or scrapbook? Or use your own Bowland photographs instead!
- Photograph Album - page 1
- Photograph Album - page 2
- Photograph Album - page 3
- Photograph Album - page 4
- Photograph Album - page 5
- Photograph Album - page 6
For more great photos of Bowland life, take a look at our 50th anniversary Bowland Scrapbook
BOWLAND BIRD SONGS
One of the joys of a visit to Bowland is the sound of the birds – especially during springtime. Some bird calls almost instantly transport you to the fells and fields of the AONB.
Each of the birds below can be found in the Forest of Bowland. If you click on the image you will find a link to a sound recording of their call.
Our Memory Box also includes…..
- A pair of basic binoculars and a garden bird identification chart from the Field Studies Council. Great for getting up close to whatever birds visit your garden.
- A selection of the RSPB's soft toy birds which make authentic calls when squeezed. They're really nice to hold, as well as listen to.
Our Farming & Wildlife Officer, Sarah, is a dab hand at crocheting and she made us a fantastic daisy chain for our box. (You can even thread the stems together!)
We also included a woolly hat as it's always good to dress for the weather in Bowland!
If you know someone who might enjoy knitting or crocheting, why not ask them to make something for your own Great Outdoors box? (A scarf or a pair of woolly socks perhaps?) There are plenty of patterns to choose from online.
Jigsaws can be great fun and these days there are lots of ways to have personalised puzzles made. We had a Bowland village scene made into a 36-piece plastic puzzle for our box, so that it would be nice and robust, but you could choose whatever image brings back memories for you – and whatever size works best!
Along with all the colourful visual resources which you can add to your memory box, it's great to include things which stimulate other senses as well.
We included a tightly lidded tub of hay in our box. It really captures the fragrance of a sunny, summer day in the countryside and can be replaced with a fresh batch once the smell has faded.
Another easy sensory item is a selection of natural textures like conkers, acorns, conifer cones and twigs, which are good for holding and feeling.
Just remember to wash your hands after handling any natural materials.
We also included some poems written by members of Bowland Biography Group in our memory box. We've added one of them below, but why not try including some of your own favourite poems about the natural world and reading them aloud?
Bowland waters (by Maureen Fenton)
Ducks gather, quacking
like any holidaying crowd,
on Dunsop’s grass verge.
Marshaw Wyre is glints.
glimpses along mossy banks,
between silver trunks.
But high on Hareden
Fell, clear and bare Langden Brooks
chatters on pebbles.
Our Family Fun page includes lots of other ideas for activities including colouring sheets and quizes, plus a Bowland wordsearch and tree anagram. They can be enjoyed by both the young and young at heart, so why not take a look and get some inspiration?
Holistic therapist Helen Leece, from The Gathering Fields Retreat on the western edge of the AONB, has written and narrated a lovely guided meditation for us. Based on the sights, sounds and textures of a Bowland meadow in summer, this 20 minute audio with natural sounds and simple music is a beautifully relaxing sensory journey, which aims to calm and soothe. All you need to do is sit, or lie, comforably as you listen.
Many thanks to Helen, and to OM Marketing for the recording and edit.
We'll be working on more activities and resources to include on this page in the future, so do keep checking back to see what's new!
For more information, or if you have any suggestions for activities, please contact email@example.com