The Forest of Bowland National Landscape (formerly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and is marking the occasion with a brand-new photography exhibition alongside its annual Dark Skies Festival.

Covering 800 square kilometres (300 sq miles) of rural Lancashire and North Yorkshire, Bowland's distinctive landscape of high open fells, rich green lowlands and steep, wooded cloughs was recognised as being amongst the finest in the country and given its official status on 10th February 1964.

These qualities are encapsulated in Diamonds in the Landscape; a special exhibition of 30 images, all of which were chosen from entries submitted to the Forest of Bowland photography competition during autumn 2023.

From far-reaching moorland vistas and stunning wildlife shots to majestic woodlands and atmospheric pastoral scenes, the talented photographers have perfectly captured the variety and beauty of the Bowland landscape.

The exhibition will open at Clitheroe Castle Museum on the 10th of February and run until the 28th of April before moving to The Folly in Settle.

Clitheroe Castle Museum Manager, Claire Sutton, said:

From our vantage point above the town, we have fantastic views into the Forest of Bowland, both north and south. This is a place where you can feel connected to the countryside right on the doorstep, so we're very pleased to host the National Landscape's 60th anniversary exhibition in our Steward's Gallery this spring.

Hetty Byrne, Sustainable Tourism Officer with the Forest of Bowland National Landscape said:

This is a milestone year for us, and Clitheroe is a key gateway into the Forest of Bowland, so we're very excited to begin our new exhibition tour at the castle museum.  We hope the wonderful photos shared by competition entrants will inspire both residents and visitors to create some of their very own "diamond" Bowland moments over the coming year.

Saturday 10th February also sees the start of the annual Bowland Dark Skies Festival. With stargazing, photography tips, family crafts and a dark-skies inspired food tour on the menu this year, this week-long programme offers a touch of late winter sparkle and half-term fun. Events will be taking place both online and at venues across the National Landscape.

Opening times for Clitheroe Castle Museum are available at:, by calling 01200 424568 or by emailing

Booking information and full details of Bowland Dark Skies Festival are available on the Forest of Bowland National Landscape website at:




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