AONB Unit

Activities

Additional re-profiling and re-wetting followed by reseeding on area already fenced out on Hawthornthwaite, Abbeystead.

31st March 2018

During the 2017/18 season nine hedge laying sessions took place involving 38 people with a total of 424m of hedge laid between four sites:

Crook O'Lune, Lancaster - 91m

Fell View Campsite, Scorton - 136m

Higher Gills Farm, Rimington - 115m

Lane Side Farm, West Bradford - 82m

Encouragingly, the sessions attracted a mix of regular volunteers alongside some new faces.  Some people traveled a considerable distance to attend the days, which reflects the value these sessions are given.

The weather was particularly snowy/wet during the early part of 2018, which resulted in a number of sessions being cancelled and re-scheduled.

Poor weather also led to the cancellation of this year's Bowland Hedge Laying Competition, which is organised by the Lancashire and Westmorland Hedge Laying Association.

8th November 2017 to 22nd March 2018

Peatland restoration work on the Bowland Fell SSSI units (those which are unfavourable recovering) is ongoing as budgets allow. In the autumn of 2015, EA budget was identified and allocated to Brown Syke, Abbeystead. By the end of March 2016, the works to reseed the already re-profiled bare peat and hags will have been completed. Tender specs produced by AONB staff, project managed by LCC staff, reporting to EA by AONB staff.

6th October 2015 to 31st March 2016

Stocks by Matthew Savage

During March we organised two workshops, attended by 20 Bowland Experience businesses – 'Star Tips for Profit', helping tourism businesses to gear up to provide an unforgettable dark sky experience for customers.  The workshops, held at Wyreside Lakes Fishery and Stirk House Hotel, were delivered by local astronomer Robert Ince who has also helped the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park develop their offering and was the resident astronomer at the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory for its early phases.  Working with Robert, the Forest of Bowland is currently applying for Dark Sky Discovery Site status for a number of sites across the AONB, so visitors can view the skies at their best!  Visit http://forestofbowland.com/Star-Gazing

17th April 2015 to 17th April 2016

  • Discover Bowland Guide 2015, published and launched 11th Feb at Gibbon Bridge, supported by BEx businesses
  • Gisburn Forest Bike Trails leaflet reprinted - March 2015 - supported by BEx businesses & Forestry Commission
  • Bowland by Bike reprinted - March 2015
17th April 2015

During the summer of 2014 & 2015, large amounts of Himalayan Balsam were pulled from the hedges and edges of Clear Beck Meadow. It was reported that less was in evidence in 2015 than in 2014, but the location of the site next to a water course mewans that this needs to be an ongoing management action. The work was undertaken by AONB, LCC & NE staff together with members of Friends of Bowland.

An assessment is needed as to the next steps of restoration - soil compaction has been identified as a problem.

1st May 2014 to 1st May 2019

The N4N project aimed to help create a living network of nectar hubs for bees and other pollinating invertebrates across the AONB by creating small patches of species rich grassland and corn field annual patches, mainly on non-farmed land such as in school grounds, businesses and community spaces.

The project created 25 nectar patches, 7 mini-meadows and worked at a field scale to restore 35 ha of meadows as well. The project worked with 10 community groups, 6 private landowners, 10 businesses and 5 schools. We organised 12 public events, attracting 170 people.

1st April 2014 to 31st March 2016

The Bowland Hay Time project has restored 35 ha of meadows during 2014 & 2015. This has been possible through partnership working with the N4N project, LEF, the Coronation Meadows project, NE and YDMT. We used green hay and brush harvested seed, as well as plug planting on several sites.

In 2016 we restored 20 ha with a further 11ha in 2017, all using green hay, brush harvested and vacuumed seed. Sites included SSSIs (New Ings and Tarnbrook) in need of seed addition.

1st April 2014 to 31st March 2018

Annual Report for the financial year 2014-15 produced and available on the AONB website.

1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015

Actions

1.1 Landscape
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.1A Ensure all local planning authorities and other interested organisations have access to AONB Landscape Character Assessment GIS data layers and understand how these can be used as a planning tool
All LPAs supplied with GIS data layers.
2014
Hold at least 1 meeting per year with LPA or other partner to raise awareness of AONB LCA and its uses.
Annually
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1.1B Utilise the AONB Landscape Character Assessment to monitor landscape change within the AONB, as part of a 'State of the AONB' Report
AONB LCA used to establish baseline information in State of the AONB' report
2015
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1.1C Continue to support the 'Traditional Boundaries' programme, managing and restoring hedgerows, dry stone walls and railing fences
Develop at least 3 traditional boundary restoration projects per year
Annually
Hold 3 training events/competitions per year
Annually
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1.1D Establish new funding sources for the 'Traditional Boundaries' programme to supplement AONB support
Develop a fund-raising plan for 'Traditional Boundaries' Programme
2014
Submit bids for external funding, where available and appropriate
2015
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1.1E Develop and disseminate advice note with design guidance for fencing in sensitive open landscapes (e.g. moorland, open river floodplains)
Advice note developed
2014
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1.2 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.2A Re-establish an AONB Biodiversity Working Group (BD Working Group), representing key agencies, local authorities, environmental organisations
Working Group re-established
2014
Produce a brief annual delivery plan for Working Group
Annually
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1.2B Carry out 'ecosystem approach' self-assessment produced by Natural England
Self-assessment completed
2014
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1.2C Contribute to research on the value of 'ecosystem services' provided by the natural environment of the AONB and communicate findings to a wide audience
Research opportunities with Natural England identified
2014
Research commenced
2015
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1.2D Explore opportunities for biodiversity offsetting with local planning authorities (recognising the mechanism as a last resort after options for avoidance and on-site mitigation have been exhausted)
Hold 'planning and development' seminar to discuss opportunities for biodiversity offsetting within the AONB
2014
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1.2E Play an active role in the government's 'Catchment-based Approach' (CaBA) to river management and restoration for the Lune, Ribble and Wyre
Meet with EA catchment management staff and Rivers Trusts for Lune and Wyre re:CaBA
2014
Attend at least 2 Ribble Life stakeholder exchange meetings per year
Annually
Investigate opportunities for catchment-based management options and agreements for the New Environmental Land Management Scheme (NELMS).
2014
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1.3 Habitats
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.3B Carry out a mapping exercise of priority habitats (including local important and locally designated sites) and commission condition surveys of the priority habitats identified
Peatland and species-rich grassland habitat survey work complete
2014
Agree further work on priority habitat surveys (e.g. woodlands, mires and wet grassland)
2014
Survey at least 2 additional priority habitats
2016
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1.3D Restore and re-wet areas of blanket bog habitat as identified in the AONB Peatland Restoration Plan
Restoration and re-wetting of 35hectares of blanket bog habitat (subject to funding availability)
2019
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1.3E Play an active role in local and regional peatland initiatives (e.g. Lancashire and Pennine Peat Partnerships) to seek additional funding to deliver AONB Peatland Restoration Plan
Lancashire Upland Peat Partnership restoration plan (incl. AONB data) complete
2014
AONB projects included in Pennine Peat Partnership bid for EU LIFE+ funding
2014
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1.3F Conserve, restore and create species-rich grassland habitats
Jointly deliver 'Networks for Nectar' project with YDMT (funded by LEF to end Sep 2015)
2015
Restore 10ha. of hay meadow
2015
Restore and ensure management of 12 small species-rich grassland sites
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1.4 Species
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.4D Support local actions to provide suitable conditions to re-establish hen harrier as a breeding species in the AONB, in line with the government's emerging national species recovery plan
Develop local actions to support the re-establishment of breeding hen harrier in the AONB
2014-15
Active participation in the new 'Northern England Protected Landscapes Hen Harrier Group'
Annually
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1.5 Geodiversity
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.5A Develop information to raise awareness and improve understanding of the geological landscape of the AONB, both on the AONB website and interpretation at appropriate viewpoints, buildings and landscape features
Geodiversity content on AONB website updated and improved, including information on Local Geodiversity Sites in the AONB
2015
Investigate opportunities for use of mobile app technologies (e.g. BGS augmented reality geology app) in the AONB.
2015
Install on-site interpretation on geodiversity in the landscape developed at a Local Geodiversity Site or viewpoint in the AONB
2019
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1.5C Investigate opportunities to add existing 'geo-walks' to AONB suite of promoted routes, where appropriate
Include 3 'geo-walks' within AONB promoted routes
2019
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1.6 Historic Environment
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.6A Work closely with statutory agencies to identify designated heritage assets 'at risk' and develop management plans to facilitate the removal of assets from English Heritage's 'Heritage at Risk Register'
Hold meeting with English Heritage to discuss establishment of 'Heritage at Risk Register' for AONB
2014
Complete first designated heritage asset management plan
2016
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1.6B Develop bid to Heritage Lottery Fund 'Landscape Partnership Scheme' for a landscape restoration programme for Pendle Hill area
Complete Stage 1 Bid planning
2015
Submit Stage 1 bid
2015
If successful:
2016
Commence development phase
2017
Submit Stage 2 bid
2017-18
Commence LPS delivery
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1.6C Develop community-based projects aiming to conserve and enhance historic features in the landscape and increase access to and understanding of the historic environment and cultural heritage (e.g. community archaeology projects)
Develop 6 community-based local heritage projects
2019
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1.6D Develop information to raise awareness and improve understanding of the historic environment of the AONB, both on the AONB website and interpretation at appropriate buildings and landscape features
Develop 'block' for heritage within AONB website
2015
Investigate opportunities for further use of mobile app technologies for interpretation of the historic environment
2015
Develop and Install on-site interpretation for at least 3 historic features in the landscape
2019
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1.6E Promote the use of the Historic Landscape Characterisation as a tool for understanding the wider historic environment, and to inform land management and development decision-making
Hold 'planning and development' seminar aimed at LPA officers/members to update on latest guidance.
2014
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1.6F Improve understanding and protection of the form, character and setting of historic settlements and farmsteads, conserving and enhancing their local landscape character and distinctiveness
Re-convene meeting of LPA officers to discuss development of design guidance (buildings, roads and road furniture etc)
2015
First design guidance note produced
2016
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1.7 Planning and Development
Action Targets and Timescales Partners
1.7A Review development management policy for local planning authorities in the AONB, helping to address LPAs 'duty to co-operate' and identifying differences and opportunities for greater consistency across policies
Complete review of development management policies for the AONB
2014
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1.7B Develop content on AONB website (linking to pre-existing resources wherever possible) to clarify AONB's role and to offer advice and guidance in planning and landscape-related matters
Develop AONB 'planning & development' webpage
2015
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1.7C Work with Lancashire County Council on revision of LCC supplementary planning guidance on landscape and biodiversity in light of the new National Planning Policy Framework
Meeting held with LCC Landscape and Ecology
2014
Respond to consultation on revised planning guidance
2014
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1.7D Develop design guidance (e.g. buildings, agricultural buildings, rural roads) based on the AONB Landscape Character Assessment to ensure development conserves and enhances the character of the locality
Re-convene meeting of LPA officers to discuss development of design guidance
2015
First design guidance note produced
2016
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1.7E Continue to use and promote the AONB renewable energy position statement to offer advice and guidance to planners and developers on appropriate renewable energy development within the AONB
Review and update position statement, where necessary
2014
Hold 'planning and development' seminar aimed at LPA officers/members to update on latest guidance.
2014
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1.7G Investigate potential development of AONB 'Dark Skies' position statement seeking to address light pollution within and surrounding the AONB
Hold meeting for interested organisations to develop position statement
2016
If agreed, position statement published
2017
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1.7H Continue to work with Electricity North West Ltd. on the delivery of the ENWL-funded 'Undergrounding for Visual Amenity' programme to underground visually intrusive overhead power lines in and around the AONB
Ensure full expenditure of funding allocation for UVA for Ofgem DPCR-05 period (2010 – 2015)
2015
Deliver at least 2 UVA projects per year under Ofgem RIIO-ED1 (2015 -2023)
Annually
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