The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Arnside & Silverdale AONB will be taking part in Landscapes for Life week which takes place 21-29 September 2019.

Each year Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty across the UK organise special events during Landscapes for Life week, but this year is special – we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the 1949 National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act which paved the way for the legislation to create the UK’s 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This year’s Landscapes for Life week is themed ‘Natural Health Service’. We’re encouraging local people and visitors to come along to an event or enjoy a walk or cycle ride in their local AONB, and celebrate the pioneering post-war vision that protected these treasured areas for everyone to enjoy.

The week commences with a ‘National Moment’ at 2pm on Saturday 21 September when poet Laureate Simon Armitage will premiere a specially commissioned poem, and readings will take place at events nationwide.

Simon Armitage says: “I was delighted to be asked to work with the National Association for AONBs on this auspicious occasion. They are an institution that safeguards and celebrates all that is good about the world we live in, and an organisation whose values I share and trust in. The relationship between poetry and the land in this country goes back to the very origins of poetic utterance and I’m proud to be making a contribution to that ongoing dialogue. There is no greater challenge for a contemporary laureate and geography graduate than to contribute artistically to a conversation about the natural world and the state of our planet, and to praise those things that are wonderful and of wonder.”

During Landscapes for Life Week businesses and wild food enthusiasts across the Forest of Bowland AONB will be celebrating the area's natural larder – and inviting residents and visitors to tuck in with them. With a menu set to include walks, foraging and feasting the week-long programme of events will offer a mouth-watering taste of nature's bounty, plus a fantastic opportunity to explore the local landscape in which it's found. Whether you fancy finding food for free amongst the hedgerows, mixing up an elixir or bottling nature's bounty, there will be an event to tempt the taste buds.  Full details and booking information can be found at

Arnside & Silverdale AONB will be hosting another of its successful Go WILD! Woodland Fun Days from 10am-3pm on Saturday 28 September in Dobshall Wood, Arnside. The team from Stomping Ground will be there with slacklining, woodland craft, fire lighting, campfire cookery, den building and mud kitchen. Suitable for all ages. Bring a picnic lunch to eat around the fire. No need to book – just turn up!

Howard Davies, Chief Executive of the National Association for AONBs, said: "There are 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Each one is incredibly special to both their local communities and those that visit them from further afield. I am deeply moved by the importance people have attached to celebrating these special places during Landscapes for Life week. There are so many opportunities for people to join in and enjoy their local landscape and the benefits to their health and wellbeing that this can bring. I wish all AONB teams great success with their Landscapes for Life Week events and encourage everyone to get involved."

The 1949 Act that paved the way for the creation of AONBs was part of the post-World War Two democratic settlement efforts which saw the government rebuilding a sense of national identity and thanking citizens for their sacrifices during the war. The Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks that were designated as a result of the act were envisioned as partner organisations to the NHS which was created in 1948. Giving people access to the countryside for exercise, enjoyment and mental health benefits was considered a preventative measure; while the NHS was designed to help people if they became sick.


Contact: Sandra Silk at the Forest of Bowland AONB on 01200 448000 /

Image 1: View across the Hodder Valley, Forest of Bowland AONB (© G Cooper)

Image 2: View over the Kent viaduct, Arnside & Silverdale AONB (© Adam Donaldson)

Notes to Editors:

Landscapes for Life 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 21st – Sunday 29th September 2019.

During the week follow us on Twitter, @naaonb @AONBFamily #LoveL4L, #NaturalHealthService.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) are some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and belong to an international Protected Landscape Family.  There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland.  For further information about the AONB Family visit 

The Forest of Bowland AONB

  • The Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is one of 46 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  • The Forest of Bowland was designated as an AONB in 1964.  The AONB legislation (National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000) was designed to protect areas of unspoiled natural beauty for future generations.
  • 13% of the AONB is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its extensive habitats of wet and dry heathland, particularly heather moor and blanket bog.
  • A major part of the AONB’s fells is designated as a Special Protection Area under the European Birds Directive.
  • The Joint Advisory Committee (JAC) - informally the Forest of Bowland Partnership - guides the management of the AONB.  Lancashire County Council acts as the lead authority alongside County, District, Parish, land owning and farming community, environmental and recreational partners.

Arnside & Silverdale AONB

The Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a unique landscape of national importance. The AONB, defined by the broad estuary of the River Kent to the north-west and the River Keer in the south, spans the county boundary between Cumbria and Lancashire.

Many generations of human activity and management have shaped the AONB’s intimate character. This cultural landscape is a tapestry in which agricultural pastures and arable farmland are interwoven with large semi-natural areas including intertidal sands and mudflats, salt marsh, coastal mosses, species-rich limestone grasslands, limestone pavements, cliffs and escarpments and wooded limestone hills. The AONB’s rich mosaic of habitats supports a wide range of special plants, birds and butterflies of national and international importance.

The AONB Partnership is the body that exists to protect this special place. This partnership is made up of local authorities, interest groups, national agencies and local communities, all of which are committed to ensuring that the Arnside and Silverdale area remains a healthy, living landscape for future generations.




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