1 to 7 June 2005 is Volunteers' Week and figures released today highlight the thousands of hours worked by the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens.

The figures show the volunteers notching up more than 36,500 hours over the past 12 months.

The 300 volunteers - who are part of the Cotswolds Conservation Board which looks after the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - work on a wide range of projects including:

planting 613 trees

work on 17 water features including ponds, streams and sheep washes

planting 1,073 metres of hedge using 4,042 trees

laying 440 metres of hedges

repairing and rebuilding 650 metres of dry stone wall

installing 148 stiles, 102 gates and 9 bridges

clearing 22 kilometres of paths

leading 303 walks, attended by more than 4,000 people.

Dave Scott, Head Voluntary Warden said,

"These figures show the wonderful contribution Cotswold Voluntary Wardens make to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"The hours worked have, once again, increased compared to last year and illustrate the Wardens' dedication to looking after the Cotswold countryside."

Volunteers' Week is the UK's annual celebration of the work volunteers do, co-ordinated by Volunteering England.