A RIBBLE VALLEY charity is celebrating being awarded a grant to fund a project chronicling memories of the Forest of Bowland from the past 50 years.

The Bowland Scrapbook project has been given £10,000 to collect and record memories in the Forest of Bowland since 1964 when it was formally designated as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’.

Champion Bowland, which is running the project, is a charity whose objects are to promote, enhance, improve, protect and conserve the physical and natural environment within the Forest of Bowland.

Famously the area was mention by the Queen as a place where she would like to live if she ever retired in her biography by Sarah Bradford.

The project will ask both visitors and residents about their experiences of rural life over the last 50 years and publish these in a souvenir scrapbook.

It will be recruiting volunteers who will be willing to visit local libraries, agricultural shows and community groups to help gather information, photographs and stories about farming, village life, key events and visitor patterns.

Paul Reynolds, Champion Bowland trustee, said: “It’s great that we have been awarded this grant and we can’t wait to get started.

“We love where we live and know there’s so much more to discover about our past since the AONB was established.

“We are all really excited about telling other people about our findings and sharing our heritage and history with them.”

Sara Hilton, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Sharing Heritage is a wonderful opportunity for communities to delve into their local heritage and we are delighted to be able to offer this grant so that Bowland Scrapbook can embark on a real journey of discovery.

“Heritage means such different things to different people, and Heritage Lottery funding offers a wealth of opportunities for groups to explore and celebrate what is important to them in their area.”

To take part, either call the AONB office in Dunsop Bridge on 01200 448000 or email bowland scrapbook @gmail.com.