Lapwing © David Patrick

All-Terrain Wheelchair Demo Day

20th September 2023

Gisburn Forest  near Slaidburn will be the venue for an all-terrain wheelchair demonstration day on Wednesday 11th October, offering a great chance for people to try vehicles out for themselves.

Terrain Hopper at Wood End Farm

There is such a variety of specialist all-terrain wheelchairs now available, which have been carefully designed to be able to travel over a wide range of different terrains. These terrains can include things like muddy woodland trails, gravel paths, wet grass, tree roots and uneven ground, hills and even mountains!

This is a free event where representatives from several all-terrain wheelchair providers - along with members of the AONB and Access the Dales team - will be on-hand to assist you in exploring the opportunities of these fantastic off-road wheelchairs – including Tramper, Paratreker and TerrainHopper.

The Forest of Bowland AONB team have recently partnered with Access the Dales

to explore making the inaccessible accessible and to break down the barriers that prevent people living with disabilities enjoying the great outdoors, either independently or with their friends and family.Tramper Taster Day at Gisburn Forest

We have a number of hub locations in the AONB where all-terrain wheelchairs are available to hire and can be used along designated trails, including a Tramper which is available to hire from the café at Gisburn Forest provided by Champion Bowland. Come along to this free demo day to find out more about these exciting opportunities.

The demo day will run between 10am and 3pm at the Forestry England site at Gisburn Forest Hub. There is a pay-and-display car park with disabled spaces, an accessible toilet and also a café on-site where you can purchase refreshments.

Please follow the link below to book your demo slot, which will give you an hour to explore the different vehicles, and an opportunity to speak directly with the manufacturers.  Please note that participants must be aged 14+ to use the vehicles and under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. 

Please follow this link to book:

For more details please email or phone 01200 448000.

We look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful surroundings at Gisburn Forest.

Historic Guided Walk Revives an Ancient Countryside Tradition

12th September 2023

Beating the Bounds PerambulationPopular ‘beating the bound’s perambulation to become an annual celebration of the outstanding landscape of the Forest of Bowland

An ancient tradition which was revived after an absence of more than 350 years will again take place in the Forest of Bowland this autumn.

Walkers will gather in Slaidburn on Sunday October 1st for a 10-mile hike exploring the scenic south-eastern boundary of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in rural Lancashire.

The last historic Perambulation was undertaken by General George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle after he was awarded the lordship of Bowland for his role in restoring Charles II to the throne in 1660.

Three and a half centuries later, William, 16th Lord of Bowland, revived the tradition last autumn ­– although the 21st century version is largely symbolic, taking the form of a guided walk from Slaidburn with all proceeds donated to local charities.

Last year’s revival attracted a large group of walkers and William Bowland will again send the group off from the steps of Slaidburn Village Hall and welcome the party back at the end of their 10-mile perambulation.

This year’s event has kindly been sponsored by The Traddock – a boutique country house hotel nestled between the Forest of Bowland and the Yorkshire Dales in the pretty village of Austwick. The Traddock is a popular destination for walkers wanting to explore walking routes in the Forest of Bowland and the Dales.

The Route

The Perambulation route explores the south-eastern boundaries of Bowland, beating the bounds first established under Henry V, Lord King of Bowland (1413-22):

“Then over Bradford and Grindleton moors, to the vaccary of Harrop, which bounds

on south-east side of Bolton-by-Bowland.”

Starting from the car park in Slaidburn, the route traverses the elevated pastures above the village, climbing gently to Harrop Fold, then more steeply through the woods and onto the summit of Bradford Fell.

Event Format

The walk will be led by local walking guide Mark Sutcliffe, supported by members of Bowland Mountain Rescue. Members of the Forest of Bowland AONB, Champion Bowland and the Bowland Sustainable Tourism Network will be among the participants.

The group will be limited to 50 people who will walk as one group around a circular route of approximately 10 miles. Places are available on a first-come, first-served basis via the Bowland-based ticketing platform Skiddle,

Parking will be at Slaidburn Pay & Display car park with the group assembling in front of the village hall. The walk will last approximately five hours, with walkers expected to return to Slaidburn between 3pm and 4pm. Tea, sandwiches and cakes (for a small fee) will be served in the village hall from 3pm for walkers, friends and family.


Places on the walk are free, but participants will be asked to make a voluntary donation, with proceeds being split between Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team and Champion Bowland, which awards small grants to help fund community schemes in the Forest of Bowland.

Book tickets here:

Lord of Bowland Annual Lecture 2023

4th September 2023


Dr Rick Peterson will take Bowland back to the Stone Age with this year's 12th Lord of Bowland Lecture on the evening of Tuesday 3rd October 2023.

Since 2011, archaeologists from the University of Central Lancashire have been excavating around New Laund Hill at Whitewell in the heart of the Forest of Bowland.

With the final season of excavation completed in 2021, this work is starting to help us see how this landscape was used from the Late Mesolithic (around 7000 years ago) until the Middle Iron Age (around 2500 years ago). 

Dr Peterson said, "Over this time, we have discovered a previously unknown landscape of prehistoric occupation including Mesolithic campsites, Neolithic enclosures, Bronze Age burial and Iron Age settlements.

In this lecture we will look at evidence from the whole New Laund area and bring people up to date with the latest results from the excavations and the post excavation analysis."

Dr Peterson is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Central Lancashire. He teaches across a range of modules, with a focus on prehistory and archaeological fieldwork.

William, 16th Lord of Bowland, will introduce the evening, which aims to raise funds for two local charities: Slaidburn Archive, which works to record the history of the Hodder Valley; and Champion Bowland, which supports projects benefiting the environment, local communities and visitors to the Forest of Bowland. Both organisations rely heavily on grants and donations to continue their work.

Thanks to the generosity of Robert Parker, Bowbearer of the Forest of Bowland, the lecture will take place in the lovely surroundings of Browsholme Hall's Tithe Barn.

The annual lecture is booking quickly but remaining seats, or places on the reserve list, can be booked by emailing, or by calling Sandra on 07973 923142.

Tramper Taster Day

22nd August 2023

Photo of TramperAutumn is a fantastic time of year in the Forest of Bowland and this year's Festival Bowland events programme has a great opportunity for countryside lovers who relish getting outside, but who might have restricted mobility.

On Saturday 30th September the Forest of Bowland AONB will be running a series of Tramper taster sessions along the recently opened Churn Clough Easy Access Trail in Sabden.

Trampers are specially designed, all-terrain, four-wheel drive electric buggies, which can be used on country tracks, mud and grass. Trampers can help people who have difficulty walking, or who may be less mobile, to experience the countryside alongside  friends and family on suitable routes.

Sabden Tramper by Mark Sutcliffe

The stile-free trail is just over 2 ½ miles long and has been graded as Disabled Ramblers category 2 – moderate.  This circular walk climbs gradually from the village of Sabden to the edge of Churn Clough reservoir before looping back to the start. The route offers plenty of opportunity to take in views of famous Pendle Hill and even, on a clear day, Darwen Tower away to the south-west.

Sessions are available at 10am, 12 noon and 2pm and will last around one and half hours. Although there are no toilets along the route, facilities are available in Sabden village.

Early booking is recommended as Tramper numbers are limited.

First time Tramper-users will be given a full induction before each guided session and we ask that a walking companion accompanies any visitors wishing to use a Tramper. (Additional family and friends are very welcome and any under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.)

The event is free but donations towards the upkeep of the Trampers are welcome on the day.

There is a minimum age for Tramper use. Please enquire on booking.

For more information, and to book a place, please email or phone Sandra on 07973 923142.

(To find out more about the Tramper which is available to hire in Sabden, please see this link Sabden Tramper | Forest of Bowland AONB)


17th July 2023

The natural world offers a great source of inspiration so, whether you're looking to try something new, or already a seasoned creative, why not sign up for a relaxed, friendly workshop in Bowland this August?


Wednesday 9th August, 3.30-4.30pm


Carla Gebhard Watercolours Poster

£12 per child

Artist, Carla Gebhard, is offering watercolour workshops especially for children aged four to 10 years old. Based at lovely Wyresdale Park, Carla's session will focus on creativity and fun – great for accompanied children of all abilities. Places for the hour-long workshop are limited, so early booking is recommended.

For more information, or to book a place, please email


Friday 11th August, 1-4pm


Meadow Rug Making

£15 per person

Experienced mixed media textile artist, Kit Wood, will be demonstrating the traditional technique of rug hooking. Kit is passionate about keeping crafts inclusive and using recycled and raw materials that would otherwise have been disposed of.  A great chance to take away your very own miniature "proddy" rug filled with flowers, bees, or whatever takes your imagination!

Under 18s need to be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, or to book a place, please email or phone 07973 923142.


Tuesday 15th August, 9.30am-12.30pm

Gisburn ForestSmartphone nature photography with Mark Sutcliffe

£10 per person

Bowland is a photographer's paradise, with something new round every corner. If you'd like to capture some of the beauty of this wonderful area on your smartphone, but don't quite know where to start, why not join this this half day workshop where local photographer, Mark Sutcliffe, will be offering lots of hints & tips on getting the best shots in the landscape?

Under 18s need to be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, or to book a place, please email or phone 07973 923142.


Sunday 20th August, 2-5pm


Litho Print with Nita Burrows

£15 per person

Let your creativity blossom on this hay time-themed workshop with print maker, Nita Burrows. Focusing on field patterns and field barns, and adding meadow flower colour and motifs, Nita will guide you through the magic of the printmaking process. Enjoy an afternoon discovering intaglio printmaking and drypoint etching, with a mix of other process to add colour,  and go home with your very own interpretation of Bowland's hay time heritage.

Suitable for adults and accompanied children of 11 years old and over.

For more information, or to book a place, please email or phone 07973 923142.

For those looking for a little creative motivation ahead of the workshops, Maiden Bridge Arts Centre's Tateham Modern Art Exhibition will continue on Saturdays and Sundays until the 30th July. Located near Bentham, this free-entry exhibition involves 25 artists showing painting, sculpture, ceramics and textiles. Details are available from

Eco Escapes Sustainable Tourism Initiative Wins Green Business Award

10th July 2023

The Forest of Bowland AONB Partnership has won a prestigious Chamber Low Carbon Award for its ground-breaking Eco Escapes sustainable tourism initiative.

In the very first Lancashire Business Environment Awards ceremony at Crow Wood Hotel & Spa in Burnley, the Eco Escapes project won the Public Sector Award, recognizing its contribution to reducing carbon emissions from the county’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

Award certificate

The Forest of Bowland collaborated with Arnside and Silverdale AONB Partnership to develop and promote sustainable tourism in rural Lancashire with the launch of a new website and social media campaign.

Funded by Lancashire County Council’s Rural Recovery Fund, the Eco Escapes initiative encourages visitors to arrive by train and explore the area on foot, by bike or on e-bike. The campaign is also designed to promote ‘slow tourism’ ­– inspiring visitors to stay longer and support independent rural businesses.

It also asks people to support independent businesses by buying local produce and stay longer at their destinations.

The award judges said they were: “Highly impressed with the achievements of a small, highly motivated team that have achieved a bottom-up approach to growing the tourism sector.  

"This has entailed getting the business community involved via collaboration, not to just stamp tourism growth onto the area but to enable low impact and sustainable tourism."

Photo showing presentation of award

The Eco Escapes website: provides car-free sustainable travel itineraries which link main stations and visitor attractions and highlight visitor destinations which support sustainable tourism.

Eco Escapes has four main objectives: all designed to reduce the carbon footprint of visitors travelling to and within each of the AONBs while enhancing the resilience of the rural economy.

  • Travel light – leave the car at home and use public transport to visit
  • Tread carefully – explore on foot, by bike, e-bike or mobility scooter
  • Shop Local – support independent businesses by buying local produce
  • Stay longer – explore more by extending your trip into a mini-break

At the heart of the initiative is a collection of bespoke Eco Escapes itineraries to help visitors make the most of their time in Lancashire’s rural landscapes. Each itinerary focuses on a different area or aspect of the Eco Escapes offer: from walking and cycling tours to railway walks and foodie tours.

Sustainable tourism businesses, hospitality and accommodation providers across the two AONBs have completed green tourism training and accreditation as part of the Eco Escapes initiative.

Local hospitality and accommodation providers and visitor attractions, as well as local government officers, also attended a Sustainable Tourism Symposium to share best practice and to learn more about sustainable and inclusive tourism in the Forest of Bowland. Hosted by Caz Graham of BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme, 85 attendees participated in the event.

Hetty Byrne, the Forest of Bowland AONB’s sustainable tourism officer said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled to receive recognition for the ground-breaking Eco Escapes initiative.

“Eco Escapes aims to protect and nurture our fragile environments while welcoming visitors who are happy to travel light, shop local and maybe linger a while longer in these outstandingly beautiful landscapes.”

“Slow and sustainable tourism is rapidly rising up the travel agenda and by encouraging both visitors and rural businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, we are helping future-proof Lancashire’s expanding rural tourism sector.”

Shaun Turner, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment & Climate Change said:

“Few people outside the county realise Lancashire has some extraordinarily beautiful rural landscapes; these hidden gems are some of the county’s best-kept secrets.

“We backed the Eco Escapes project to help rural entrepreneurs reboot their businesses and build back more resilient rural enterprises.

“Supporting businesses in this way will not only encourage more spending in rural areas but will also help drive further investment in the rural economy going forward."

The principles of sustainable tourism have been at the heart of the Forest of Bowland AONB’s visitor economy for almost 20 years and the Eco Escapes initiative has been pivotal in consolidating this work to establish Lancashire’s outstanding natural landscapes as one of England’s foremost destinations for visitors in search of sustainable holidays in the great outdoors.

Photo: The Eco Escapes Team with their Chamber Low Carbon Award: (from left) Mark Sutcliffe, campaign consultant, Shaun Turner, Lancashire County Council, Hetty Byrne, Forest of Bowland AONB sustainable tourism officer, Karen Lawrenson, Senior Project Manager, Lancashire County Council.

Discovering Meadow Life and Traditions

5th June 2023

Discovering Meadow Life and Traditions!

National Meadows Day BioBlitz, Saturday 1st July, 10am to 3pm, Over WyresdaleSummer BioBlitz events poster

Hermitage Field BioBlitz, Sunday 9th July, 1pm - 4pm, Crook O' Lune

The idea of a BioBlitz is to collect as many animal, insect and plant records as possible at one site; so why not come and join us for a fun day in the meadows and learn some ID skills too?

These BioBlitz events aimed at families and those who want to learn more about what species are present in a hay meadow setting.  We also welcome anyone with a particular taxon recording interest.

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.


To book your place please email 


Northern Scythe Fair, Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd July, 11am - 5pm, SlaidburnNorther Scythe Fair poster FINAL

Celebrating a rural tradition that's well worth discovering!  Workshops, demos and "have a go" sessions in the lovely surroundings of Lancashire's Coronation Meadows.

Spectators are welcome, but please park in the village car park.

Disabled parking available at the venue.

Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

Find full details for all these events at: Festival Bowland Events | Forest of Bowland AONB.  

Are you a Farmer or Landowner around Quernmore, Ellel or Halton?

25th May 2023

Thanks to a grant of almost £200,000 from National Grid's Landscape Enhancement Initiative, the Forest of Bowland AONB 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 Halton, Quernmore and Ellel areas.

Tree cage

Projects include woodland planting and the creation and management of native hedgerows.

Tree and hedgerow planting in the right places can help to strengthen the connection between important ecological habitats, provide shelter for stock, benefit wildlife and improve biodiversity and water quality.

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. "

"We're also interested to hear from landowners or tenant farmers looking to plant new, native hedgerows, or bring existing hedge boundaries back into management."

Hedgerow replanting

The programme is being supported by UK conservation charity, the Woodland Trust, who are providing fully funded woodland saplings and plant protection. In addition, the Trust are offering "tree cages". These are small groups of four or five trees protected by timber fencing, which offer an effective way of incorporating field trees into the landscape.

As well as offering tree stock and protection, the funding can also support the cost of planting and stock proof fencing. Projects need to take place before the end of March 2024 and meet certain criteria.

Quernmore woodland

A farmer in Ellel recently carried out woodland and hedge planting as part of the initiative and 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 outskirts of Halton, through 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.


23rd May 2023

A riot of colour and buzzing with life, Bowland's traditional hay meadows are true havens during the summer months – and there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy them this season.

Hermitage Field Meadow - Crook O'LuneThe Forest of Bowland AONB Partnership and Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust are joining forces once again to offer a host of events designed to get people exploring and appreciating this rare and valuable habitat.

Bowland Hay Time Project Officer, Carol Edmondson, said, "With these events we want to give people the chance to immerse themselves in the wonderful world of wildflowers; whether that's through experiencing a meadow at the height of the season, seeing traditional scything in action, getting creative with arts and crafts, or learning how to grow their own wildflower plants."

The series of events begins on 9th June with a meadow inspiration walk at Gisburn Forest and continues throughout the summer, including National Meadows Day and the Northern Scythe Festival over the first weekend of July, plus a second meadow walk and BioBlitz at the Crook o' Lune, Lancaster later that week.

A textile workshop, photography walk and a tutorial on how to grow your own plants and manage a mini meadow are also being planned as part of the programme, with information coming soon.

Continued Carol, "Here in Bowland we're lucky to have some of the last remaining upland hay meadows in the country thanks to the traditional practices being carried out on the farms where they're found. Helping people to discover such special places is a really enjoyable part of my role."

In an addition to the Festival Bowland programme, a Summer Dawn Chorus walk will be taking place on Saturday 10th June at Gisburn Forest. Starting at 5am the event will soak up the sounds of a waking woodland, before heading back to the Hub for coffee and croissants.

Full details and booking information for the Bowland Hay Time summer events and Summer Dawn Chorus morning will be available on the Festival Bowland calendar at Festival Bowland Events | Forest of Bowland AONB.

The Hay Time project is being supported by the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme.

Statement on Hen harrier disappearance in Mallowdale area of Forest of Bowland

18th May 2023

Yesterday, Lancashire Police's Rural Crime Taskforce reported the disappearance of a satellite-tagged hen harrier in the Forest of Bowland AONB. 

Male Hen Harrier - image by Andy Hay

The bird went missing, with the tag suffering catastrophic failure, over 4th/ 5th May in Mallowdale, an area of moorland to the south of the village of Wray.  The Rural Taskforce and National Wildlife Crime Unit have since carried out a search of the area but have been unsuccessful in locating the missing bird.

Lancashire Police have issued an appeal to the public for information.  Please contact the Rural Crime Taskforce via 101 or email and quote log number LC-20230516-0307.

Elliott Lorimer, Forest of Bowland AONB Partnership Manager commented:

"The disappearance and failure of this satellite tagged Hen harrier is very concerning.  The Forest of Bowland is often considered a stronghold for this protected species, with conservation efforts in the area aiding the recovery of this threatened bird.  So, any loss in such circumstances is particularly upsetting.  I would strongly urge members of the public to contact Lancashire Police if they have any information that could relate to the disappearance of this bird."

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