Drystone walling courses help boost an interest in conservation work across the Cotswolds.

For the fourth year running the Cotswolds Conservation Board is offering people the chance to learn a useful rural skill. Between April and November this year expert drystone wallers will be holding two day courses to teach people the art of building a traditional Cotswold drystone wall.

The training courses which are run as part of a 1.4M Heritage Lottery Fund project 'Caring for the Cotswolds' appeal to beginners wanting to take up the craft but they also offer those with a bit of walling 'know-how' the chance to hone their skills.

John Tabor who runs the Caring for the Cotswolds project said:

"Drystone walls are very much part of what makes the Cotswolds special - they are a key feature across the Cotswolds. There are at least 4,000 miles of drystone walls in the AONB ( as long as the great wall of China). Sadly many of them are in a derelict state but it is hoped that our walling courses will encourage people to maintain and restore them for future generations."

The courses will be held at a range of locations across the Cotswolds; Cud Hill near Painswick, Long Compton and Ilmington in Warwickshire, Whittington and Leckhampton Near Cheltenham, Doughton Near Tetbury, Coates Near Cirencester, Lansdown near Bath, Broadway in Worcestershire, Shipton-Under-Wychwood in West Oxfordshire and Crickley Hill near Gloucester.

The Cotswolds Conservation Board works to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which is a protected landscape. Another primary aim is to increase the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the AONB. In fulfilling these roles, the board must foster the economic and social well-being of local communities within the Cotswolds.


Notes to editors:

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is cared for by the Cotswolds Conservation Board - an independent organisation with 40 members, 17 nominated by local authorities, eight by parish councils and 15 appointed by Government.

This year the Cotswolds Conservation Board is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the AONB, which became a protected landscape back in 1966.

The Government has designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and National Parks as our finest countryside and they are recognised as being of national importance.

With its rolling hills and valleys the Cotswolds is the largest of 40 AONBs in England and Wales and is protected to ensure that its beauty and special character are conserved. It covers 2,038 square kilometres (790 square miles), stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north, through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.

Contact: Claire Cunningham, Information and Interpretation Officer.

Cotswolds Conservation Board

The Old Police Station Cotswold Heritage Centre Northleach Gloucestershire GL54 3JH

Tel: 01451 862000

Website: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk