Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism

Sustainable and inclusive tourism has moved up everyone’s agenda during the Pandemic and it has been central to the development of small-scale tourism in the Forest of Bowland.

Sustainable tourism takes account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing, and seeking to balance the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities. We’re also working hard to ensure Lancashire’s outstanding natural environments are inclusive places where diversity is celebrated and everyone is welcome!

Making tourism more sustainable and inclusive means taking these needs and impacts more fully into account in the planning, development and operation of tourism. It is conducted at an appropriate scale, encouraging quiet enjoyment, and reinvests in the economy and communities which support the landscape.

In 2005 the Forest of Bowland AONB became the first protected area in England to be awarded the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas, which was renewed in September 2010.

The Charter approach ensures that organisations, local people and businesses are working together to protect the area, whilst at the same time increasing opportunities for visitors to discover and enjoy its special qualities.  

The businesses featured in ‘Discover Bowland’ are all part of the Forest of Bowland’s Sustainable Tourism business network – working collaboratively as businesses to deliver social, economic and environmental benefit, while at the same time enhancing visitor experiences.


Make sustainable travel choices

Lancashire’s rural landscapes are fragile and the rare wildlife that makes its home there are susceptible to disturbance and deteriorating air quality. Rural roads struggle to cope with increasing traffic, so it would be great if more visitors arrived by public transport and explored on foot, by bike or e-bike.

Support communities and the local economy

By supporting a local business, you’re also supporting the local community by providing local jobs. Research shows that £10 spent with a local independent shop means that up to an additional £50 goes back into the local economy!

Discover quality products and services

You’ll be buying lovingly crafted products and services unique to the area, often supporting generations of entrepreneurs who are driven to provide quality and authenticity! Experience this for yourself in one of the special eateries across Bowland.

Support farmers and local producers

By eating with the seasons, you’ll be eating foods when they are at their most flavoursome, are the most abundant, and the least expensive. And whether it is meat, cheese or vegetables, knowing the story and people behind your food is such a bonus.

Celebrate local distinctiveness

Buying locally encourages independent specialists to keep producing unique, innovative, local products to meet the changing demands of their customers while celebrating local distinctiveness – who doesn’t love a Tasty Lancashire Cheese?

Limit your carbon footprint

Supporting local is kinder to the wider environment too. Goods sourced and produced locally reduces the miles from producer to consumer. Furthermore, using local shops and services means that you can walk or cycle to limit your own carbon footprint.