Lapwing © David Patrick

A Diamond Year to Discover Bowland

9th February 2024

Discover Bowland Guide Cover2024 marks 60 years since the designation of the Forest of Bowland as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and coincides with celebrating our new name as a National Landscape, making this a fantastic year to explore and enjoy this beautiful area.

As the Forest of Bowland launches its 2024 ‘Discover Bowland Guide', rural businesses in the area’s Sustainable Tourism Network are emphasising the year-round appeal of this beautiful area and a warm welcome for everyone.

As well as offering practical advice and information on making the most of holidays and short breaks in the area, the Discover Bowland Guide also highlights the increasingly diverse tourism options in the amazing landscapes of the Forest of Bowland.

From year-round favourites like walking, cycling to exploring the night skies, food tourism and the therapeutic benefits of being in nature, the new Guide is packed with useful tips and practical information.

Businesses at the launch of the Discover Bowland 2024 Guide

Forest of Bowland AONB sustainable tourism officer Hetty Byrne said:
”From a refreshing winter break at a rural inn with roaring log fires and fabulous local food to a fun-filled family holiday or a short spring break as the countryside bursts back to life, the Forest of Bowland is a genuine destination for all seasons.
“We're also delighted to launch our 12 new Eco Escapes itineraries to enable eco-conscious visitors to refresh, recharge and revive with a sustainable short break in the area's beautiful green spaces.”

The 116-page Discover guide also includes features about the fantastic work of the Forest of Bowland National Landscape Team - find out about new peatland restoration practices, volunteer bumble bee helpers, nature recovery plans and new developments to break down barriers to accessing the countryside.

Businesses at the launch of the Discover Bowland 2024 Guide

Why not join Festival Bowland and experience a whole variety of events throughout the seasons? From winter dark sky adventures and spring moorland safaris to summer days enjoying our iconic meadows and autumn foraging and feasting - there is something to discover for everyone.

This year’s guide was launched at Wild Fox Distillery, Inglewhite on 8th February and was attended by members of the Bowland Sustainable Tourism Business network, who enjoyed a morning of networking and finding out about more inclusive and accessible tourism.

Businesses at the launch of the Discover Bowland 2024 Guide

Printed in a durable perfect-bound pocket-friendly format, the guide will be widely available at tourist information centres, hospitality and accommodation providers and other outlets across the Forest of Bowland National Landscape. The guide will also be available to download online at 

The guide cover was painted by Karin Pinder, Lorikeet Studios and the photos were taken at the guide launch event with the Forest of Bowland Sustainable Tourism Network on 8th February at Wild Fox Distillery.


8th January 2024

Image by Stephen AdairThe Forest of Bowland National Landscape (formerly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and is marking the occasion with a brand-new photography exhibition alongside its annual Dark Skies Festival.

Covering 800 square kilometres (300 sq miles) of rural Lancashire and North Yorkshire, Bowland's distinctive landscape of high open fells, rich green lowlands and steep, wooded cloughs was recognised as being amongst the finest in the country and given its official status on 10th February 1964.

These qualities are encapsulated in Diamonds in the Landscape; a special exhibition of 30 images, all of which were chosen from entries submitted to the Forest of Bowland photography competition during autumn 2023.

From far-reaching moorland vistas and stunning wildlife shots to majestic woodlands and atmospheric pastoral scenes, the talented photographers have perfectly captured the variety and beauty of the Bowland landscape.

The exhibition will open at Clitheroe Castle Museum on the 10th of February and run until the 28th of April before moving to The Folly in Settle.

Clitheroe Castle Museum Manager, Claire Sutton, said:

Gisburn Forest by Robert Ince

From our vantage point above the town, we have fantastic views into the Forest of Bowland, both north and south. This is a place where you can feel connected to the countryside right on the doorstep, so we're very pleased to host the National Landscape's 60th anniversary exhibition in our Steward's Gallery this spring.

Hetty Byrne, Sustainable Tourism Officer with the Forest of Bowland National Landscape said:

This is a milestone year for us, and Clitheroe is a key gateway into the Forest of Bowland, so we're very excited to begin our new exhibition tour at the castle museum.  We hope the wonderful photos shared by competition entrants will inspire both residents and visitors to create some of their very own "diamond" Bowland moments over the coming year.

Saturday 10th February also sees the start of the annual Bowland Dark Skies Festival. With stargazing, photography tips, family crafts and a dark-skies inspired food tour on the menu this year, this week-long programme offers a touch of late winter sparkle and half-term fun. Events will be taking place both online and at venues across the National Landscape.

Opening times for Clitheroe Castle Museum are available at:, by calling 01200 424568 or by emailing

Booking information and full details of Bowland Dark Skies Festival are available on the Forest of Bowland National Landscape website at:

Bowland Dark Skies Festival 2024

21st December 2023

Join us from 10th to 17th February for our annual Bowland Dark Skies Festival.

Barley Picnic Site by Robert InceStargazing, photography tips, family crafts – even a dark-skies inspired food tour – are all on the menu this year.

You can find a round-up of the fun below, with full details - including booking information - on the Festival Bowland calendar at:

Saturday 10th February

  • Superfoods Under Dark Skies; 11am – 6pm; Dolphinholme 

Sunday 11th February

  • How Big is Space?; 7pm – 8pm; Online

Monday 12th FebruaryStocks Reservoir by Matthew Savage

  • Observatory Open Evening; Postponed.

Tuesday 13th February

  • Children's Watercolour Workshops; 11am – 12noon or 1pm – 2pm; Scorton (Fully booked)
  • Stargazing Evening; 7.30pm – 9pm; Bentham (Fully booked.)

Wednesday 14th February

  • Smarthphone Night Sky Photography; 7pm – 8pm; Online

Thursday 15th February

  • The Moon and Your Shadow; 7pm – 8pm; Newton-in-Bowland

Friday 16th February

  • Stargazing Evening; 7.30 – 9.30pm; Downham (Fully booked.)

Saturday 17th February

  • Campfire and Lanterns; 3.30pm – 6pm; Dunsop Bridge (Fully booked.)
  • Dark Skies Family Drop-in; 2pm – 4pm; Bentham

Outstanding Entries for Bowland's Annual Photo Competition

8th December 2023

Originally designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1964, the Forest of Bowland National Landscape celebrates 60 years next year, and as part of this celebration, the team encouraged residents and visitors during October and November to share their very own "diamond" memories in photo form.

Image by Stephen AdairFrom far-reaching moorland vistas and stunning wildlife shots to majestic woodlands and atmospheric pastoral scenes, the talented photographers have perfectly captured the variety and beauty of the Bowland landscape.

A special thank you to our photo competition judge - Mark Harder from Following the judging, Mark said: 'It was very difficult to choose as they were all so good. I deliberated much, but I had in my head “What’s quintessential Forest of Bowland?” And I was drawn to the quality of the landscapes. As I drive around and explore Bowland often, I’ve recognised some of the locations and can relate to the images, they have truly captured what I consider to be the Forest of Bowland.  The quality of the shortlist was superb!'.

Local businesses have been generous in prize donations for the final six competition winners. These include:

  • 1st Prize was won by Stephen Adair with 'One of the Best Views in the Forest of Bowland' winning a 2-night stay at Laythams Hayloft kindly donated by Laythams Holiday Lets Retreat
  • 2nd Prize was won by Ryan Pentall with 'Rural Resilience' winning a 9 Course tasting menu in a 3 AA rosette restaurant for two people with a house bottle of wine kindly donated by The Traddock, Austwick
  • 3rd Prize was won by Andrew Cowell with 'Pendle Hill from Twiston Moor in the snow' winning a £50 voucher kindly donated by the Parkers Arms, Newton in Bowland
  • Photo by Ryan Pentall4th Prize was won by  Bradley Hamer with 'Golden Light Badger' winning a family day pass kindly donated by Bowland Wild Boar Park
  • 5th Prize was won by Sue Lowe with 'Autumn Magic, Grizedale Valley' winning a Bowland local produce hamper
  • 6th Prize was won by John Eveson with 'Walkers at the River Hodder at Whitewell' winning  A 'Thoughts from a Tree' t-shirt kindly donated by Bowland Fitness

The 25 shortlisted images will feature in print in the new, official Discover Bowland 2024 guide and to mark the anniversary of this very special area, Clitheroe Castle Museum will host the launch of a brand-new photography exhibition, featuring around 30 of the photographs.  The exhibition will launch on 9th February at Clitheroe Castle and will then go on to tour selected venues across Bowland during 2024.
Photo by Andrew CowellPhoto by Bradley HamerPhoto by Sue LowePhoto by John Eveson

National Grid's Landscape Enhancement Initiative

6th December 2023

Thanks to a grant from National Grid's Landscape Enhancement Initiative, the Forest of Bowland National Landscape Partnership is working with landowners and farmers to filter views of the high voltage electricity pylons along the north-western boundary of the AONB in the Quernmore and Ellel areas.

Tree cage imageProjects include small-scale woodland planting,  "tree cages" and the repair of traditional dry stone walls.

Forest of Bowland AONB Project Officer, Sandra Silk, said, "Woodland planting areas don't have to be large. In fact, we're looking for small-scale sites, such as field corners, cloughs and small copses, which will suit the landscape and existing field patterns. "

And if you don't have room to plant a multiple trees, why not consider several tree cages instead? These are small groups of four or five trees protected by timber fencing, which offer an effective way of introducing height into the landscape.

Funding can also contribute to the repair of dry stone walls; a traditional form of field boundary in Bowland, particularly in the more upland areas.

The programme is being supported by UK conservation charity, the Woodland Trust, who, along with the tree cages, are providing fully funded woodland saplings and plant protection. 

Ellel woodland planting

As well as offering tree stock and protection, the funding can also support the cost of planting and stock proof fencing.

All projects need to meet certain criteria and must be completed before the end of March 2025

A farmer in Ellel, who carried out woodland and hedge planting as part of the initiative, said, “The scheme has proved to be a great success for us. This is our second round of work and we are really happy with the entire process."

The area covered by the funding stretches from the Crook o' Lune, via Quernmore, to the area north of Ortner and Ellel Crag quarry.

Anyone interested in finding out more can contact Sandra by emailing or by calling her on 07973 923142.

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