Arts and Crafts
Creative courses and crafts inspired by nature in the Forest of Bowland
Make beautiful things in a friendly and relaxed female-led studio on the edge of the Forest of Bowland. We specialise in creative sewing, embroidery, appliqué, fabric printing and more. From dress-making to designing your own tote bag or soft furnishings, sustainable sewing is key. Small class sizes and tea, coffee and cakes are included!
Our mission has always been to bring creativity to as many folk as we can, through different media – whether it’s art or textile based.
All of our courses are currently limited to six people, so you can receive lots of help and guidance. The cost for each course varies according to the amount of resources you are provided with.
Whilst we’re all more aware of our wellbeing and being more mindful since Covid, learning a new skill and taking part in a creative activity is great flow activity – and good for your brain!
Our dedicated team of experienced tutors are passionate about making things and, most of all, having fun. Over time, we really want to create a vibrant community of creative people who can dip in and dip out of our short and longer courses, get support and inspiration with their own projects, bring friends for a giggle or come alone and make new ones.
We’re also makers who work with local businesses in Bowland to make bespoke locally-sourced, sustainable soft furnishings for hotels, B&Bs and even Shepherd’s Huts!
We don’t really shout about our female-led, safe and friendly environment, but we know sometimes that can be reassuring to know. If you are thinking about joining a course and want to have a look at the environment beforehand, please feel free to get in touch and come and have a cuppa.
We are open to the public for one-day workshops and classes and we offer bespoke creative sessions for small groups. Get in touch for an informal chat about your needs. Open all-year round.
Unit 11, Hawthorne Business Park, Lincoln Way, Clitheroe BB7 1QD01200 871536
I’m a watercolour artist and illustrator and I also have a lovely little shop/studio at Wyresdale Park, where I sell my artwork and also hold watercolour workshops.
I specialise in nursery and children’s artwork, inspired by animals, nature and all things whimsical. My aim is to gently inspire and educate children from an early age, to love and to care for the nature around them. Whether it be through my nursery prints, nature activities or children’s books. I strongly believe that little nature lovers, naturally grow into BIG nature lovers, who will then go on to help protect our lovely little planet and all it inhabits.
I like to keep things local to Lancashire – I’m naturally inspired by the wildlife and nature found in and around Wyresdale Park. Which is where my shop/studio is based and where all my paintings come to life. The prints are then printed, mounted and packaged locally in Lancashire, whilst also supporting other local and independent businesses.
I like to make everything eco-friendly (where possible) and I’m also hoping to give back to nature VERY soon by donating a percentage of print sales to planting trees locally in Lancashire through the Wyre Rivers Trust.
Wyresdale Park, Snowhill Lane, Scorton, PR3 1BA07872567824
‘Farm To Yarn Project’
I’m a textile designer maker, weaver and wool merchant working with farmers in Bowland to promote the use of wool …. a wonderful, readily available natural resource! I buy fleeces direct from the farms which are high nature value and low intensity.
The fleeces come from traditional hill breeds including Lonks, Lancashire’s own ancient breed. The fleeces are spun into yarn using minimal processing at a small mill in The Peak District. My work sells through galleries and wool through yarn retailers in the North West.
Housed in an imposing former chapel in the heart of town, The Emporium is a unique setting of unique interior design and delicious food. Whether it’s a latte or a lunchtime glass of fizz, this elegant old building has been lavishly converted to create three glorious floors of eating, drinking and shopping. Pop in for a coffee and freshly baked pastries, meet friends for lunch, toast a successful shopping trip with a cheeky afternoon glass of fizz or step out in style for a special celebration dinner.
The Old Methodist Chapel, Moor Lane, Clitheroe, BB7 1BE01200 444174
After returning to her childhood home, natural therapist Helen Leece established a centre for wellbeing and renewal high among the hills on the western fringe of the Forest of Bowland.
The Gathering Fields is a rural Retreat centre teaching Yoga, Meditation, Cookery and Wild medicine. The centre can be hired by companies and community groups and hosts a variety of retreats based around wellbeing in nature.
Standing some 140 metres above sea level, Swainshead Hall Farm, enjoys an elevated position offering amazing views of both the fells and the wide sweep of Morecambe Bay, with the hazy outline of the Lakeland Fells peeping over the northern horizon.
It’s a truly enchanting view that’s entirely in keeping with the aura that permeates this magical rural hideaway overlooking the upper Wyre Valley and the Ward Stone – the highest point in the Bowland Fells.
Helen returned to her family home – a working hill farm of some 280 aces – after a varied career which saw her qualify as a holistic therapist and practitioner of Ayurveda – an Indian-based holistic medical system incorporating diet, lifestyle and herbal medicine.
She immediately set about diversifying, converting the outbuildings into cosy bunkhouse accommodation and indoor and outdoor spaces for learning and discovery, which she christened ‘The Gathering Fields.’
“This little community has been a place where people have come together in friendship for centuries and we want to preserve those traditions,” said Helen. “The name the Gathering Fields seems to capture that instinct for like-minded people to share each others’ company in a relaxed and open setting.”
Ideal for extended families or informal friendship groups, community groups and charities, the Gathering Fields offers yoga, Sound relaxation, herbal foraging with a medicinal twist, Flower essence making or simply revelling in the glorious countryside on the doorstep.
Alongside the camping barn – which was once a cowshed – there’s also a paddock to pitch tents and a wonderfully expansive covered outdoor seating area complete with communal firepit to while away the evenings around the campfire.
A recently restored community pub is a shortish hike across the fields, while the ridgeline of surrounding hills can be reached on foot within an hour. The Gathering Fields also makes the perfect base for exploring the quiet roads and wild trails of Bowland on road, mountain or electric bikes.
“We encourage a ‘back to nature’ approach to stays on the farm,” said Helen. “But while it’s deliberately rustic, the camping barn has all mod cons, with hot and cold water, heating, toilets and indoor kitchen and plenty of room to dry out wet clothes and boots.
“Families love the sense of space and safety and seem to settle in and get comfortable in their surroundings very quickly. We know the surrounding area really well and can point guests in the direction of the best places to walk, cycle, explore – and enjoy a pint! We’ll even supply torches if they fancy a night hike.
“We welcome guests to share stories, skills, open fires, music, make friendships and from here we can bring people together to grow a community.”