THE Forest of Bowland has installed a new chief steward.

One hundred guests visited Browsholme Hall to oversee the installation during the Lord of Bowland's 9th annual lecture.

Mike Pugh, chairman of Champion Bowland succeeds Clitheroe land agent Michael Parkinson, who has served William, 16th Lord of Bowland, since 2009.

After being dubbed by Bowbearer of the Forest, Robert Parker, with his ceremonial wand of office, Mr Pugh said: "It is a huge honour to take up the office of Chief Steward.

"I am grateful to the Lord of Bowland for inviting me to join his team in the Forest."

Mr Pugh's predecessors included 16 knights of the realm, a duke and an earl.

William, 16th Lord of Bowland said: "Mike represents the very best of Bowland.

"His appointment brings together Champion Bowland, which provides grants for local projects in the Forest, with one of the forest’s most ancient offices.

"This unique combination of old and new will make Mike Pugh an outstanding champion for Bowland."