Sense of Place: Forest of Bowland

The term 'Sense of Place' is often used to describe your feelings for a place, and the elements that make that place special to you - it may be memories of past visits, views, sounds, people, tastes, even the smell of the place! As part of its work on Sustainable Tourism the Forest of Bowland AONB used the concept of a Sense of Place to achieve several aims:

  • To agree on and promote the special qualities of the Forest of Bowland

  • To provide consistent messages for all partners to use

  • To increase awareness of what the area has to offer to visitors

  • To develop a greater understanding of the geographical area covered by the AONB, and to create a loyalty to this area by residents and visitors

The project started in 2005 with a consultation exercise which involved over 200 people including elderly people, parish councils, rangers, and visitors to the Hodder Valley Show. These people contributed their thoughts on Bowland, about their favourite places and personal memories. They talked about wildlife, history, farming and even the best ice creams. All this information was then assimilated into the Sense of Place Toolkit which helps tourism businesses to understand more about the Forest of Bowland AONB, and to develop a Sense of Place for their own business. The purpose of the Sense of Place Toolkit is to help people to use the special qualities of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in developing and promoting their own product. The toolkit is organised into themes based on the special qualities of Bowland, within each theme are selections of text and images as well as general information which can be freely use as part of your own promotion materials e.g. website, leaflets, posters.

The themes are:

  • A place to enjoy and keep special

  • Delicious local food and drink

  • A landscape rich in heritage

  • A living landscape

  • Wild open spaces

  • A special place for wildlife