Gisburn Forest & Stocks Reservoir

Gisburn Forest is situated in the upper Hodder Valley, near to Stocks Reservoir. Over 1200 hectares in size, and therefore the largest wooded area in Lancashire, it is home to conifers, spruce and a huge variety of wildlife. Over recent years, Gisburn has become an increasingly important recreation destination. There is ample parking and picnicking sites for visitors, as well as a café and toilets at the Gisburn Forest Hub from where you can enjoy way-marked walks and cycle routes or explore the extensive network of public footpaths.

Most walking and biking trails start from the Hub, the main car park. It’s also the base for a range of sporting and other events including mountain biking, trail running and orienteering. The Hub is also where the annual Cloudspotting festival takes place, a fantastic family music festival with a growing reputation in the UK’s festival scene which takes place in midsummer. Find out more and book tickets at

There are 16km of mountain bike trails across the forest which have been created by Forestry England and a volunteer group of trail builders. After deciding which level of track you would like to take at the Skills Hoop at the Hub, set off to traverse the wide range of trails, from beginner through to expert, all while enjoying the exhilaration of fresh air and beautiful surrounding forest. The forest also has a newly accredited Dark Sky Discovery Site, one of five within the Forest of Bowland. This means that the night skies over the Forest of Bowland AONB have been recognised as some of the darkest in England and so are ideal for stargazing. There are regular events for the keen stargazer or those who wish to become acquainted more with our night sky, run by local stargazing companies. For more details got to

The forest has a huge array of habitat types that support varied wildlife. These include a wide range of bird species including important birds of prey such as Hen Harriers and the Short-Eared Owl. There is a continuing programme of planting more broadleaved trees across the forest, to help continue the diversification of habitats as well as provide visual improvements to the landscape.

Find out more about what Gisburn Forest has to offer at. .

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