A 300 strong band of volunteers will take part in an event this weekend to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens were established in 1968 and have spent the past four decades working to conserve the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The press are invited to attend the private celebration, which will be held at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, on Saturday June 21st at 11am. (Boutflour Hall).

The wardens will hear from The Lord Plumb of Coleshill DL FRAgs, the patron of the organisation that exists to conserve the Cotswolds AONB, the Cotswolds Conservation Board.

Baroness Young of Old Scone, who was the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency until May 2008, will also give an address.

Spokesperson for the Cotswolds Conservation Board, Claire Cunningham said:

"This event is the highlight of the warden's celebrations to mark their 40th anniversary, and will be a sincere acknowledgement of the years of dedication and effort that they have put into helping to conserve the Cotswolds AONB. Some of the guests who will be attending the event have been wardens from the start and have spent the last 40 years working on the ground to ensure that the area is looked after properly."

The wardens marked their 40th anniversary in a range of other ways during the last week of May. They: led 20 local walks in north Cotswold towns and villages including Stow and Blockley; launched 'Walks on Wheels' a collection of 15 walks across the Cotswolds for wheelchair, buggy and power scooter users; and led a walk where the public had a chance to see a wardens work party in action on Minchinhampton Common.

The wardens are also leading a range of 40th anniversary walks across the summer, which can be found in a walks listings directory in the Cotswold Lion Newspaper, available at most libraries and tourist information centres in the AONB. There is also a walks listing section on our website at www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk.


Notes to editors:


Rebecca Jones: 01451 862008

Mobile: 07841 663602

Over the past 40 years, the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens have achieved a great deal:

 1975 - Guided walks programme established - it continues to this day with over 300 walks a year.

 1976 - Drought in Britain. Participants on walks requested not to smoke for fear of fire.

 1980s - Wardens won two awards for their work. The Tidy Britain Award for their 'Clean up the Cotswolds' campaign and the Carnegie Interpret Britain Award for audio visual presentations on their work.

 1981 - Over 400 people attended Prestbury village guided walk.

 1991 - The Wardens Way and Windrush Way were created by wardens.

 1990s - Wardens work to create easy access (stile free) routes and lead wheelchair walks

 1993 - 25th anniversary celebration held at Royal Agricultural College.

 2001 - Wardens create an alternative Town and Village walks programme to allow visitors to continue to enjoy the AONB despite Foot and Mouth restrictions.

Cotswolds AONB fact file

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.

The Government has designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) 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


Press contact: Claire Cunningham

Tel: 01451 862003

(Please go to the press releases section of our website for more news stories)

Cotswolds Conservation Board Fosse Way, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3JH

Tel: 01451 862000 Website: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk