Don’t miss out on beautiful Bowland this spring

The Tramper vehicle available to book from Gisburn Forest Hub Caf. Photo by Mark Sutcliffe.
The Tramper vehicle available to book from Gisburn Forest Hub Caf. Photo by Mark Sutcliffe.
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Spring is a fantastic time of year in the Forest of Bowland and this month’s Festival Bowland events programme has two great opportunities for countryside lovers who relish getting outside but who might not be as mobile as they once were.

The Welcome Bowland-themed events include a guided walk around the new dementia-friendly “Birch Hills Trail” on May 25th and a Tramper taster day on May 28th – both at Gisburn Forest and Stocks, near Slaidburn.

The Birch Hills Trail offers an easily accessible route designed to be of special assistance to those living with dementia. The route is well way marked with a “forget-me-not” symbol and there are several benches and picnic tables along the stile-free mile and a half walk, allowing plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the sights and sounds of the forest. A specially produced booklet highlighting wildlife and heritage interest along the route is also available.

The woodland route is also suitable for Trampers – 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 disabled, to experience the countryside and to accompany friends and family when out walking.

The guided walk on Saturday, May 25th, starts at 11am and offers visitors the chance to try out the dementia-friendly route, with the option of bringing along a picnic to enjoy in the walled garden at the end of the event. The Tramper taster event on Tuesday, May 28th, will offer a number of guided sessions throughout the day, with the opportunity for visitors to try out a Tramper along the trail. Early booking is recommended as Tramper numbers are limited.

For those who enjoy the experience and would like to re-visit the forest, a Tramper is available to book from Gisburn Forest Hub Café and can be used on the specially way marked route. Festival Bowland also has a number of other guided Tramper treks available during the year and details are available at www.forestofbowland.co/Festival-Bowland-Events.

Both May events are free but donations on the Tramper taster day are welcome. For more information, and to book a place, contact Sandra Silk at the Forest of Bowland AONB office on 01200 448000 or email sandra.silk@lancashire.gov.uk