The Bowland Fells form a distinctive upland block on the boundary between north Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales. The landscape is wild and windswept, with steep escarpments, upland pasture and expansive open moorland.
The National Character Area is within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and also contains areas of moorland, designated as a Special Protection Area due to its international importance for breeding hen harrier, merlin and lesser black-backed gull. It also provides for other important species such as peregrine, ring ouzel and breeding waders. The peat soils of the fells, including the deep columns of peat associated with blanket bog, store significant volumes of carbon. Blanket bog habitat is also important for water storage.
High-quality species-rich meadows can be found in the limestone areas to the east. There are also a large number of important waterbodies throughout the area. Extensive conifer plantations occur to the south-east and east of the area, with fragmented broadleaved woodland largely in the cloughs.
Current and future challenges for the area include managing moorland to mediate against downstream flooding in the catchments originating in the Fells, managing the increasing pressure on water resources, achieving longterm improvement in habitat condition and connectivity, increasing carbon stores in soil/vegetation, strengthening landscape resilience and adaptation to climate change and managing increased tourism and recreational demand while promoting the positive benefits.
34 Bowland Fells (NE365)