Eco Escapes Sustainable Tourism Initiative wins Green Business Award - Forest of Bowland AONB

four smiling people standing in front of a logo board holding awards and certificates
The Eco Escapes Team with their Chamber Low Carbon Award: (from left) Mark Sutcliffe, campaign consultant, Shaun Turner, Lancashire County Council, Hetty Byrne, Forest of Bowland AONB sustainable tourism officer, Karen Lawrenson, Senior Project Manager, Lancashire County Council (Forest of Bowland AONB)

The Forest of Bowland AONB Partnership has won a prestigious Chamber Low Carbon Award for its ground-breaking Eco Escapes sustainable tourism initiative.

In the very first Lancashire Business Environment Awards ceremony at Crow Wood Hotel & Spa in Burnley, the Eco Escapes project won the Public Sector Award, recognizing its contribution to reducing carbon emissions from the county’s tourism and hospitality sectors.

The Forest of Bowland collaborated with Arnside and Silverdale AONB Partnership to develop and promote sustainable tourism in rural Lancashire with the launch of a new website and social media campaign.

Funded by Lancashire County Council’s Rural Recovery Fund, the Eco Escapes initiative encourages visitors to arrive by train and explore the area on foot, by bike or on e-bike. The campaign is also designed to promote ‘slow tourism’ ­– inspiring visitors to stay longer and support independent rural businesses.

The Eco Escapes website: provides car-free sustainable travel itineraries which link main stations and visitor attractions and highlight visitor destinations which support sustainable tourism.

Eco Escapes has four main objectives: all designed to reduce the carbon footprint of visitors travelling to and within each of the AONBs while enhancing the resilience of the rural economy.

At the heart of the initiative is a collection of bespoke Eco Escapes itineraries to help visitors make the most of their time in Lancashire’s rural landscapes. Each itinerary focuses on a different area or aspect of the Eco Escapes offer: from walking and cycling tours to railway walks and foodie tours.

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Posted On: 14/07/2023

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