News

From Whimbrel Watch to Bluebell Wood

2nd April 2019

Green Hairstreak Butterfly by Jeff GorseIf the scent of a bluebell wood or the musical call of a lapwing make your thoughts turn to spring, then get ready to discover some of Bowland's natural heritage with Festival Bowland's springtime events programme.

Wyre Coast and Countryside Service will be out spotting curlews and hares in the Bleasdale area on Sunday 14th April, whilst the RSPB will be exploring a beautiful valley above Slaidburn with their first moorland walk of the season on Saturday 20th. If you can't make that date there will be another chance to join the RSPB on the 28th.

Wrap up warm and settle down to watch whimbrel as they fly in to their evening roost around Barnacre on April 25th, then keep your hat and gloves on as the Ribble Rivers Trust venture out on a bat walk in Slaidburn the following night.

Head west again on Saturday 27th for a Tramper trek near Garstang as the Wyre rangers head out to search for lapwings and hares. A great event for people who love wildlife but can't walk as far as they used to.

Lapwing Chick by Gavin ThomasMay starts with Wyre's evening walk in the lovely Brock valley on Wednesday 1st, followed by a bumper day on Saturday 4th when there are three events to choose from: a wildlife walk around Garstang; the East Lancs Ornithologist's Spring Bird Watch at Stocks Reservoir and a search for Green Hairstreak butterflies and Emperor moths with a Butterfly Conservation guide in the Trough of Bowland.

The Bank Holiday weekend events finish with a springtime walk around Nicky Nook and the first of this year's Sunday bluebell tea walks in Calder Vale, both organised by the Wyre rangers on Sunday 5th May.

Full event information and booking details are available in the Festival Bowland calendar at www.forestofbowland.com/Festival-Bowland-Events


Half a Kilometre of Hedge

24th January 2019

Hedge laying volunteersKeen hedge layers from far and near headed to the four corners (almost!) of the AONB; picked up bill hook, axe and pruning saw and got to work this winter.  Both regular volunteers and new faces joined us to learn from experienced hedge layers Joe Craig, Geoff Whitley, Andrew Kirkwood and Phil King.

Hedge laying volunteersWe were treated very kindly by the weather this season, with only a few hours lost over the 10 sessions - quite a contrast to last year!

It's been great to work both at familiar sites and to discover some new corners of Bowland and we extend our thanks to this year's hosts:

Higher Gills Farm, Rimington

New Laund Farm, Whitewell

Fell View Park, Scorton

Laneside Farm, Grindleton and

Lower Gills Cottages, Tosside

Take a look at our picture gallery of the 2018/19 season here.

If you'd like to join our traditional boundaries mailing list and come along to a session – or more - next season, contact Sandra Silk at the AONB office on 01200 448000 or email sandra.silk@lancashire.gov.uk

If you'd like to see hedge layers of all levels – from novice to championship – in action then pop over to the annual Bowland Hedge Laying Competition at Cockshotts Farm in Sabden on Saturday 2nd March.  This year's competition is being organised by the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership project and details will be available at https://pendlehillproject.com/ once finalised.  The PHLP are also holding two hedge laying training days for beginners during February (3rd & 20th): a great way to add to the 516m! Phone 01200 420420.

As part of our Traditional Boundaries programme we'll be holding a two-day dry stone wall training course with Master Craftsman, Alan Rhodes, near Slaidburn in June.  Further details to follow but to register interest contact Sandra on sandra.silk@lancashire.gov.uk

Dry stone walling


Bowland Dark Skies Festival

8th January 2019

Update 28.01.29:
Most events are now booked up so we've added some new partner events here.

The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has been officially recognised as having some of the darkest skies in England - a fact being celebrated next month with a week of special events during half-term.

Image by Matthew SavageHetty Byrne, Sustainable Tourism Officer for the AONB said, "Light pollution means that truly dark skies are becoming increasingly rare.  With our Dark Skies Festival we want people to discover the magical sight of the planets and constellations visible above Bowland. The longer nights of winter are good for star gazing and, given the right conditions, you can feast your eyes on everything from the Plough to the Milky Way!

Running from Saturday 16th until Sunday 24th February the themed week includes guided star gazing and astrophotography with local amateur astronomer, Robert Ince; the chance to book into one of Bentham Golf Club's glamping pods or lodges and search the dark skies until the wee hours; wrap up warm and listen to nocturnal tales with storyteller, Sue Allonby and an invitation to step inside Yorkshire Planetarium's mobile dome for night-sky films with the wow factor.

"Bowland is beautiful during the day", said Hetty, "but seeing its star-filled skies at night is a fantastic experience. We advise early booking as the events are likely to be popular."

Visitors wanting to stay and explore the area for a little longer can choose from a number of Dark Sky Friendly businesses - many of them accommodation providers offering information about star gazing in Bowland.  Details available at https://forestofbowland.com/Star-Gazing/#businesses

Details and booking information for the Dark Skies Festival events can be found below:

Saturday 16th February – Dark Skies Glamp - SOLD OUT!

7.30pm till late, Bentham Golf Club

Image by Robert Ince

Be guided on an incredible journey through the constellations and along the Milky Way. Explore the night skies using powerful telescopes, all provided and operated by a local astronomer, who will take you on an astronomical tour. Finish the evening in style by staying in one of Bentham Golf Club’s new, stylish glamping pods or lodges. Price includes stargazing and accommodation. A stargazing-only option is available at £15 per adult and £7.50 per accompanied child.

Booking essential. Contact Wenningdale Escapes to book on: www.wenningdale.co.uk Phone 015242 62455 or email hello@wenningdale.co.uk

£99 (per pod for 2)/£348 (per lodge for 4 people for 2 nights)

Sunday 17th February – Astrophotography Workshop - SOLD OUT!

7pm – 10pm, Gisburn Forest

Image by Robert Ince

Come to our Forest of Bowland Dark Sky Discovery site and learn how to photograph the contrast of our dark skies and the beautiful stars above. Learn how to create star trails and other compositions that will leave you and your friends breathless, all with just a DSLR camera, lens and tripod. After time spent in the workshop there will be opportunities (weather permitting) to try the techniques out under Bowland’s dark skies. Suitable for adults and accompanied children 16 years and over.

Booking essential. For more information contact Robert Ince on 07511 403702 or email robert.ince.uk@gmail.com. To book go to: https://tinyurl.com/yb8yzogd

£27.24 per person

Tuesday 19th February – Planetarium Adventure - SOLD OUT!

1pm, 2pm or 3pm, West Bradford

Step inside the Yorkshire Planetarium’s mobile dome for HD films with the wow factor! Journey through deep space, discover the constellations, learn about black holes and the life and death of stars and find out how humans went to the moon. A great half-term activity for families with children 8 years and over. (Younger children are welcome on the understanding that each session will last around an hour.)

Booking essential. Please contact the Forest of Bowland AONB office on 01200 448000 or email sandra.silk@lancashire.gov.uk

£5 per family (2 adults and up to 2 children)

Wednesday 20th February – Stories of the Stars - SOLD OUT!

Image by Matthew Savage

7pm – 8.30pm, Gisburn Forest

Bring along the family for an enchanting evening in Gisburn Forest! Cosy up around the fire for an evening of dark sky stories with storyteller, Sue Allonby and listen to our expert guide, Robert Ince, who will share stories of his own dark sky adventures. Weather permitting we’ll embark on our own journey to explore the night sky! A great half-term activity for families with children 8 years and over.

Booking essential. Please contact the Forest of Bowland AONB office on 01200 448000 or email sandra.silk@lancashire.gov.uk

£3

Sunday 24th February – Stargazing: SOLD OUT!

7.30pm – 9:30pm, Claughton-on-Brock

Enjoy the stars in the dark skies of the Wyre! We will be your guides along an incredible journey through the constellations and along the Milky Way, showing you how to find all sorts of objects for yourself. There will be powerful telescopes for you to gaze through but (weather permitting) we will also help you see the spectacle of skies with just your own eyes. Suitable for adults and children 10 years and over. (Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.) Please book early - places are limited.

Booking essential. For more information contact Robert Ince on 07511 403702 or email robert.ince.uk@gmail.com. To book go to: https://tinyurl.com/yaevrbux

£15/£7.50 (£40 per family ticket – and up to 3 children)

Partner Events

Saturday 16th Feb - Dark Skies Evening 

The Dalesbridge, Dalesbridge, Austwick, LA2 8AZ

An evening of star gazing and talk from esteemed astronomy speaker Colin Stuart.

Ingleton stargazers will be on hand for guided star gazing and expert astronomy photographer Pete Collins throughout the evening of our beautiful dark Yorkshire Dales Skies.

Wood fired pizza oven along with the bar being open for drinks all evening.

Tickets are £6 each including one drink from the bar (draft beer, house wine, soft drinks, tea or coffee)

Click to book online

Saturaday February 23rd, 6.30 to10pm - Dark Skies Family Fun Night 

Be a Garden Maker, Coars Farm, Wigglesworth, BD23 4SN

Come and spend the evening learning about the night sky - some fun facts about astronomy, how to find your way around the stars and what there is to see up there.

You'll get a drink and snack half way through the night. Bring along your telescope (or have a look through ours!), binoculars or anything you might want to use and we hope we'll get a clear night.
Adults £5/Kids £3

Booking information: https://www.facebook.com/events/2280239632195630/


The Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership will soon be sending out its first newsletter!

7th January 2019

The new Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership newsletters will be sent out on a quarterly basis and will aim to inform and keep you up to date on all the things that are going on in the programme.

If you would like to receive these newsletters please follow the link below and register your email address.  Please note that unless you confirm your subscription via the email you will receive after signing up you will not be added to the mailing list - so please remember to confirm via this email!

Any problems please let us know!

http://eepurl.com/cFPnU5


Wildflower meadow rescue mission

17th October 2018

Globe Flower by G WoollardYorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) and the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are on a mission to restore wildflower hay meadows.

Together they will deliver ‘Haytime Rescue’. This is a new 14 month partnership project supported by a grant of almost £20,000 from the Lancashire Environmental Fund.

Isobel Hall, programme manager at YDMT, said:

“With support from local volunteers, farmers and specialist growers at Kew Wakehurst Millennium Seed Bank, we aim to bolster populations of rare species of wildflowers in Bowland. These species include melancholy thistle, globeflower and birds eye primrose.”

The project will deliver training and support for volunteers. This will help them learn about propagating plants from sustainably sourced seed. It will also cover how to ‘foster’ the plug plants, looking after them until they are large enough to grow out into suitable sites across Bowland.

Sarah Robinson, Farming and Wildlife officer from Forest of Bowland AONB, said:

“We’ve selected specific sites to receive the plug plants. It is very important to have the correct physical and biological attributes, as well as the right management, in order for the plug plants to thrive. Volunteers will help plant out the young plants and will revisit the sites to track progress.”

In addition to this specific species work, the projects will help ongoing field scale restoration of hay meadows. This will continue to restore the network of species-rich sites across the AONB which is so vital to the species which rely on them. Open days will be held for people to see the results of the restoration work.

Andy Rowett, fund manager at Lancashire Environmental Fund, commented:

“This is the fourth time the Fund has supported hay meadow restoration work in the AONB with YDMT. We look forward to seeing the return of some of the rarer wildflowers to the Forest of Bowland hay meadows.”

YDMT and the Forest of Bowland AONB have reintroduced wildflowers to more than 700 hectares of degraded meadows across the region since 2006. It is making important strides in helping to safeguard meadows and the hundreds of species of native wildlife.

Unfortunately, wildflower meadows are still one of the most threatened habitats in Britain. With 97% of traditional species-rich meadows lost since the second world war, much more still needs doing.

For further information please contact Carol Edmondson Carol.Edmondson@lancashire.gov.uk 

YDMT welcomes support for this important restoration work. Please visit www.ydmt.org/haytime or call 015242 51002 to find out more.


Traditional Boundaries Training

20th September 2018

Hedge LayingHedges and dry stone walls are key features in the Forest of Bowland landscape. As well as acting as stock boundaries and providing shelter they also make great habitats for wildlife.  Laying hedges and maintaining walls to keep them stock-proof and in top condition is a real skill so, if you'd like to have a go yourself, don't miss our latest training and volunteering opportunities:

2019 Programme

Date                                          Location                        Course

3rd Feb                                       Twiston                        Absolute Beginners Hedge Laying

20th Feb                                      Twiston                       Absolute Beginners Hedge Laying

Each day will run from 9.30am until approximately 4pm and all tools and instruction will be provided.  You will need to wear old, warm, outdoor clothes, strong footwear and tough gloves and bring a hot drink and packed lunch. Extra brews will be provided.

As these courses are in the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership area, places need to be booked in advance by contacting the Clitheroe office on 01200 420420 or by emailing jessica.tearle@lancashire.gov.uk 


AONB Family's Week

13th September 2018

Outstanding Week is the AONB Family’s week (and a bit) long programme of events to help people reconnect with nature by enjoying and being inspired by the UK’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). This year it takes place from Saturday 15th – Sunday 23rd September.

AONBs are some of the UK’s most beautiful, cherished and outstanding landscapes. They are vibrant landscapes where people live and work and consequently offer a wealth of opportunities for everyone to enjoy them.

Outstanding Week is an opportunity for you to get out and benefit from everything AONBs have to offer – local food and drink, walking festivals, dark sky discovery nights, country shows, archaeology walks, wood fairs, foraging, wildlife walks, coastal and marine days, thatching courses, drystone walling competitions, charcoal making, bioblitz, inspiration through art and drama and many, many other activities.

Join us out in the country to discover why September is such an Outstanding month and have a look at the events as part of Festival Bowland.

See http://www.landscapesforlife.org.uk/events/outstanding-week/ @naaonb @AONBFamily #OutstandingWeek for details.


Bowland Heads Back to the Stone Age

12th September 2018

This year’s Lord of Bowland Lecture, the 8th since 2010, will take place on the evening of Monday 8 October in the wonderful surroundings of Browsholme Hall's Tithe Barn.

Dr Rick Peterson, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), will take Bowlanders back to the Stone Age, with a lecture on the Prehistory of Bowland.

Each year, between 2011 and 2015, staff and students from UCLan left the campus behind and headed to the hills above Whitewell for their summer fieldwork project. A combination of field surveys, excavations and research during that time uncovered evidence of nomadic hunter-gatherers and early farmers in the Stone Age, along with Bronze Age burial sites and Iron Age settlements.

Read Mark Sutcliffe's article, Step Back in Time, in this year's Discover Bowland guide for more detail.

Rick's lecture will explain how this fieldwork, and subsequent studies, have helped to expand understanding of Bowland's prehistory.

The event is free to attend but places need to be booked in advance by contacting the Forest of Bowland AONB on 01200 448000 or by emailing sandra.silk@lancashire.gov.uk or enquiries@slaidburnarchive.org  The lecture starts at 7.30pm with a pay bar available from 7.00pm.

Donations are invited on the evening and will go to Slaidburn Archive to support its important work in recording the history of the Forest and to Champion Bowland, which supports projects benefiting the environment, local communities and visitors.

The Forest of Bowland AONB is grateful to the Parker family for hosting this event at Browsholme Hall.


Bowland by Night

3rd September 2018

The Forest of Bowland is fantastic by day but as the sun sinks down, there's still plenty to explore with Festival Bowland.

Garstang Bat Walk

Friday 21st September, 7.30pm – 9.30pm

Garstang

Tales for a Dark Forest Night (Last few places remaining!)

Saturday 22nd September, 7.30pm – 9pm

Gisburn Forest Hub

Hodder Valley Bat Walk

Friday 28th September, 7pm – 9pm

Whitewell

Dusk to Dark

Saturday 29th September, 7.30pm – 9pm

Gisburn Forest

For full details go to www.forestofbowland.com/Festival-Bowland-Events


River Life Together Photo competition: River Wildlife

22nd August 2018

Submit your photos of river-related wildlife from within the Ribble Catchment, and you could be in with the chance of winning a fantastic prize!

This competition is open to amateur photographers resident in the UK. You can submit as many entries as you like.

Closing date for all entries is 9th September 2018 at 23:59 pm, and the winner will be announced by 5th October 2018.

Visit the Ribble Life Together Website to upload your photographs now!