The countdown has begun to find the top champions of Bowland.
Nominations closed in early September for the Forest of Bowland AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) 50th Anniversary Awards and since then judges have been drawing up the shortlists in six categories.
Those shortlisted include local campaigner and historian Muriel Lord of Chipping and local heritage expert Jean Fone of Bleasdale, both nominated for their outstanding contribution to the area,
Cobble Hey Farm at Claughton on Brock which has been shortlisted twice – for the Biodiversity Award and the Traditional Boundaries Award.
RSPB officer Gavin Thomas who is well known for his work with the Bowland Wader project and at Alston wetland has been shortlisted for the Biodiversity award.
The aim of the contest is to highlight and recognise the vision and commitment of the many individuals, communities and businesses who contribute so much to the Forest of Bowland’s special qualities.
Elliott Lorimer, Principal AONB Officer, said: “We have always known what fantastic support the AONB receives from the people who live and work here and from our visitors too, but the chance to read through the nominations for our anniversary awards has been absolutely wonderful and very heartening”.
The shortlist of nominees is: .
Biodiversity Award: Gavin Thomas, Jennifer Newton, Brennand and Whitendale focus group
Farming for Conservation Award: New Laithe Farm; Bell Sykes Farm; Cobble Hey Farm; Backsbottom Farm.
Traditional Boundaries Award: Reuben Parsons, Geoff Whitley, Downham Estate.
Sustainable Tourism Award: Stirk House Hotel, Cobble Hey Farm, Browsholme Hall
Vibrant Community Award: Slaidburn Village Archive, Clitheroe Youth Forum, St James’ Church Community Archaeology Project.
Outstanding Contribution Award: Muriel Lord, Jean Fone, John Hickling, Philip Lord
A seventh category, Bowland’s Best Kept Village, has been organised by the Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition.
The winners will be announced at a special anniversary event to be held at Clough Bottom, Bashall Eaves, near Clitheroe on November 1.
Sponsors include; Green Tourism (Sustainable Tourism Award), United Utilities (Biodiversity Award), Grosvenor Estates (Abbeystead), (Farming for Conservation Award), Duchy of Lancaster (Outstanding Contribution Award) and Countryscape and Life for a Life Memorial Forests.