As the September magazines land on subscribers’ doormats this week I’m busy filling our October editions. In the last two weeks I’ve had to make a couple forays into Lancashire –  the good bit that straddles the West Riding border in the Forest of Bowland. I’m doing a piece on this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for my other magazine, The Countryman.  Although I’m very familiar with the region’s roads it’s only when you park the car and walk around and talk to folk that you really start to know a place. There are lots of hidden deep-sided gorges (cloughs as they say in these parts) and magnificent viewpoints. But there are very few well-trodden paths over the heather and peat moorland, as it is less than a decade ago that much of the and was opened up for public access. I asked one resident of Slaidburn whether he considered himself a Yorkshireman and he said he certainly did but stated that his wife was a Lancastrian and that his children who were born in this West Riding village, also considered themselves as being ‘from the dark side’. ‘Never give up hope’ I  offered as consolation. Whatever colour rose they wish to affiliate themselves with there’s no denying they live in a wonderful area.

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