So Much More Than The View!

17th June 2015

New publication: ‘So much more than the view…’
England’s most iconic landscapes – a hidden economic powerhouse

Far from being sleepy backwaters, England’s finest landscapes, National Parks and AONBs, contribute more than £20bn each year to our economy – similar to that of Birmingham.

The publication ‘So much more than the view…’ also highlights the wide range of other benefits these iconic areas provide to society

See the publication at:

Covering a quarter of England, AONBs and National Parks are our most beautiful and cherished landscapes, with iconic archaeological and historical sites and valuable wildlife habitats. Yet they provide so much more to society than a beautiful view.
More than two thirds of people in England live within half an hour’s travel of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or National Park.
AONBs and National Parks welcome more than 260 million visitors who spend in excess of £6bn and support thousands of jobs and more than 85,000 businesses.
Rightly regarded as a treasured national resource and internationally recognised for their special qualities, they provide a base for businesses that rely on a high quality environment; creative and sporting inspiration; homes for wildlife and people; food and drink; and life enhancing experiences for millions of visitors of all ages.

Environment Minister Rory Stewart said:

Our British landscapes are among the most beautiful and precious in the world. And such land remains central to the British imagination, to our souls and to our identity.  We would miss such landscapes profoundly if they were gone. We have a deep obligation to protect this land, its farms and its communities. This report also reminds us that safeguarding our countryside can also generate economic value, how our protected landscapes are increasingly rare in a rapidly developing world and just how precious they are to visitors and residents. However, while we celebrate the fact that they have also to potential to bring prosperity, we must never reduce such places simply to their economic value – they are so much more than that.”

Chair of the National Association for AONBs, Philip Hygate said:
“AONB Partnerships and Conservation Boards, and National Park Authorities, with their dedicated small teams, make things happen; translating vision and national policy into local action. “Our staff and volunteers work with local communities, businesses and others, supporting skills development, investing in infrastructure and attracting visitors to promote sustainable rural economies that conserve and enhance the natural environment for the benefit of everyone. Together our volunteers put in over half a million days’ work each year to help keep these places special and accessible.”
Chair of National Parks England and the North York Moors National Park Authority, Jim Bailey said:
“People are passionate about National Parks and AONBs and care deeply about their future. Those who visit, live or work within, these special landscapes, experience and enjoy the range of benefits that they provide for people and wildlife. They may not realise that these dynamic, living landscapes underpin the economy and the health and wellbeing of society and that all these benefits come at less than £1 per person a year.”

For further information contact:

Amanda Brace                                                              Jill Smith
Senior Policy Officer                                                    Communications Manager
National Parks England                                                National Association for AONBs

Telephone: 07969 888823
Twitter: @naaonb @natparksengland

Flower-filled Bowland

29th May 2015

If you like the idea of learning how it's done then why not come along to Slaidburn and take lessons from top tutor Steve Tomlin?

As part of the Hay Time project, and Festival Bowland, Steve will be leading two-day workshops at Bell Sykes Farm on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th July and then again on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th July.

The cost for each course is £95, including lunch and refreshments, and Steve will provide tools and equipment whilst you're there.  Who knows – you may even be able to ditch the strimmer afterwards!

The Hay Time project will be joining up with Bell Sykes farm again on the 10th and 11th July to host Coronation Meadow Teas.  Join Sarah Robinson, the Hay Time officer, for a walk through Lancashire's Coronation meadows and enjoy tea and cake at the farm afterwards.  The walks cost £5, including refreshments, and are suitable for children aged 8 years and over if accompanied by an adult.

Other wildflower-related Festival Bowland events include a meander down the meadows of the Hindburn valley south of Wray on Saturday 27th June and a closer look at the flora of the limestone reefs near Downham on Saturday 18th July.  Both walks cost £3 and will be led by ecologist, Jon Hickling.

For more information, or to book places on any of the events, call the AONB office on 01200 448000 or email or

Festival Bowland 2015

29th May 2015

Spoon CarvingSomething for Everyone this Summer

Wrap up warm for an evening bat walk in Clitheroe's Brungerly Park on 5th June with Lancashire Wildlife Trust. Learn some traditional woodworking techniques with the Wyre countryside rangers at Cobble Hey on 14th June – and go home with your very own rustic stool!  Get stuck in to some practical work at Brock valley picnic site on the 23rd June or take a Moorland Safari with the RSPB on the 3rd July – the last one for this season.

Discover Claughton Hall estate on the morning of 12th July then head off over to Beacon Fell in the afternoon for a family-friendly summer activity day. Find out more about New Laundin the Hodder valley with a guided tour around Uclan's archaeological dig on July 18th or a farm Tramper trek on either August 3rd or 4th.

Roll up your sleeves at Spring Wood near Whalley on 5th August and help to look after this popular picnic site, or why not walk "From the Mills to the Reservoir" in lovely Calder Vale on the 22nd?  Finish the summer off in style by carving your very own wooden spoon at Beacon Fell Country Park on the 30th August, then sit back and have a well-earned rest – until it's time to start on the autumn events!

For full details, and booking information, of all the Festival Bowland events coming up over the next few months go to

Download the printed verion of the guide


Calling all Explorers!

25th May 2015

As part of our brand new exhibition at the Museum of Lancashire, Mid Pennine Arts are organising a special workshop there on the afternoon of Monday 25th May.

Artist and maker, Cath Ford, will be inviting museum visitors of all ages to take part in this free, drop in session where you can make your own Explorers' Journal from scrap paper and card. Use your book as a place to write poetry, sketch the landscape, record wildlife sightings or write your memories of your adventures in the wonderful Forest of Bowland.

Accompanied children will be welcome.  Drop in to the Museum of Lancashire on Stanley Street in Preston any time between 1pm and 4pm on the day.

The workshop is being organised as part of the Arts Council England funded Bowland Revealed Explore & Engage project.

Scorton Bikes & Barrows Festival 2015

2nd May 2015

Scorton Bikes & Barrows Festival is coming this May Day bank holiday weekend. Tell family and friends to come to Scorton and look out for the decorated bicycles and wheelbarrows all around the village. The weekend features a music festival, dog show, sheep racing, food & craft fair, children’s games, treasure trails, 10k run, family cycle rides, Rose Queen day, wheelbarrow racing, cream teas, art festival, brass band concert and morris dancing! Refreshments served all weekend, additional parking areas provided.

Scorton Bikes and Barrows Festival – May 2nd – 4th 2015



Twitter: @scortonvillage

Hedgelaying at its Best!

25th March 2015

Volunteers at Crook O'LuneHedge Laying Competition - GrindletonAs the season comes to an end we'd like to thank all those who've been involved in hedgelaying volunteering over the winter months. It was great to have a mixture of regulars as well as new faces.

There's been some fantastic lengths laid at Crook O'Lune, Lancaster and Keasden and the highlight of the season was the Bowland hedgelaying competition held at Lane Side Farm, West Bradford on 7th March.

Thanks to our trainers Geoff Whitley, Joe Craig and Andrew Kirkwood who provided entertainment as well as fantastic skills training.

Thank you also to Cllr Jon Barry for organising the Lancaster training on behalf of Lancaster Green Spaces with support from Lancaster University Wind Turbine Community Fund, Lancaster City Council, and Lancashire County Council.

We look forward to welcoming you next year!  If you would like to be added to our mailing list to be kept informed of future events please email

Hedge Laying Competition - Grindleton