Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: Winter 2013 Update

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Latest news from the Cotswolds Conservation Board

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Cotswolds AONB eNews
Hello and welcome to the latest edition of Cotswolds AONB eNews, a quarterly newsletter designed to keep you up-to-date on all of the Cotswolds Conservation Board's latest activity, news and insights from across the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


New appointment to develop Setting of Bath bid

The Board has just appointed David Hodd as a Bid Development Officer. Co-funded with Bath and North East Somerset Council, David’s job will be to prepare a Stage I submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Landscape Partnerships Programme. The setting of Bath has been identified as a high priority for this fund by both partners and a successful stakeholder’s workshop has already been held. David’s task will be to build on this and develop the initial work into a successful bid.

Traditional craft in action!

The Cotswolds Annual Dry Stone Walling Competition took place recently at the National Trust’s Sherborne Park Estate.
Click here to view a fun short video shot in time-lapse and showing the building of the wall during the competition.

Competition results

The two popular competitions in dry stone walling and hedgelaying, held annually by the Conservation Board, took place recently attracting participants and spectators from across the country.

Understanding and enjoying

'Our Landers' enjoy Chedworth walk

The beautiful landscape surrounding the village of Chedworth was the setting for our recent walk with Cotswolds ‘Our Landers’.
Ten tourism providers from across the Cotswolds got booted up to enjoy a 2-hour walk led by walking expert and Conservation Board member Ken Betteridge. Following the walk, everyone stayed to enjoy lunch at the new Cotswold Lion Cafe where they gave the full 'thumbs up' to the Board’s new catering venture.

Read more about Our Land

Wonder Walks

The full set of the Cotswolds Seven Wonder Walks is ready to download and enjoy!
The walks were developed by our Voluntary Wardens following the campaign to find the Seven Wonders of the Cotswolds. Each walk incorporates one of the ‘wonders’ along with full directions, map and highlights along the way.

New Explore the Cotswolds Guide and online timetables

The updated Explore the Cotswolds by Public Transport guide has been published covering the period December to May 2014.
The corresponding bus timetables are also available to view online, providing a single source of public transport information across the Cotswolds AONB.

Stuck for Christmas present ideas this year?

Gift vouchers for our popular rural skills courses make an ideal Christmas gift.  A voucher can be purchased for as little as £59 for some one-day courses and £99 or £109 for our 2-day weekend courses. Click here for details. 

The Old Prison - the Story of the House of Correction at Northleach - is a brand new book by local historian and former Board Member Michael Banks, providing a detailed account of the history of this iconic 18th century building.  Published by the Friends of the Cotswolds, all proceeds go towards the Old Prison fundraising appeal. Click here to purchase online.

A beautiful set of 10 Christmas cards featuring the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Northleach in the snow is available to buy online for just  £6.95 (inc P&P), with all proceeds going towards the Old Prison fundraising appeal. Click here to purchase.

Cotswolds Visitor Giving Scheme funds its first projects

The first two grants of £500 each have just been awarded by the Cotswolds Visitor Giving Scheme.

The scheme, launched earlier this year, is supporting new interpretation boards and coppicing at the World Lands Trust’s Kites Hill Reserve near Painswick. This will benefit the woodland flowers, butterflies and birds and help people understand the value of the conservation work taking place across the reserve.

The Cotswolds Rivers Trust has also received a grant towards a river restoration project on the Upper Colne that will benefit a wide array of river wildlife including brown trout, kingfishers and dragonflies.

Read more about the Cotswolds Visitor Giving scheme.

People and communities

The Cotswold Lion Cafe - open for business

Visitors to the Escape to the Cotswolds centre at the Old Prison Northleach can now enjoy a delicious range of home-made and locally-sourced refreshments, following the recent opening of the new cafe – the Cotswold Lion.

A new venture by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, the Cotswold Lion Cafe provides a high quality facility and venue for local residents as well as a place for meetings and a useful refreshment stop along the Fosse Way.

House Manager Louisa Davison from near Winchcombe and Team Leader Judy Cheyne from Upper Rissington have recently started to oversee the day to day running and development of the cafe.

The cafe will pride itself on offering locally sourced produce from around the Cotswolds including hot lunches and light snacks, sandwiches, home-made soup, cakes, plus a range of drinks including locally wood-roasted coffee from Witney.
Opening hours for the cafe will be Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm (from 9am on weekends).  The cafe, along with the court room are also available to hire for functions, meetings and events.

Meet the Lion - Sunday 1 December

An opportunity to meet a real Cotswold Lion as well as sample the delights of the new cafe will take place on Sunday 1 December between 11am and 3pm.
The free event is being organised to help promote the opening of the new cafe and encourage the local community back in to the Old Prison to see the recent developments that have been taking place since the Friends of the Cotswolds took ownership of the site in July.
As part of the event there will be the opportunity to sample the food from the cafe, view traditional craft demonstrations, buy local crafts and food, plus there will be a book-signing event by Michael Banks following the launch of ‘The Old Prison’ – a History of the House of Correction at Northleach, published by the Friends of the Cotswolds with proceeds going to the Old Prison appeal.

Strategic management and planning

Meeting with Ministers

On 16th October, Conservation Board Chairman Jeff West and Director Martin Lane met with Nick Boles MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, DCLG and Lord de Mauley MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Defra to discuss the Board’s concerns regarding planning issues in the Cotswolds AONB.

The meeting, which had been arranged by Cotswolds MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, was a very useful opportunity for the Board to put forward its own views about the encroachment of development within the AONB. Whilst it was recognised that local authorities need to have up to date Local Plans in place which will provide great clarity over where development can and cannot take place, the Board provided assurance that it was assisting local authorities as much as possible with their Plans. The Board also raised the issue over the need for a clear definition of ‘major development’ in relation to the wording in the National Planning Policy Framework and was invited to write further on this matter to DCLG.

Position Statements revised in line with new plan

The following position statements have been revised to bring them up to date and to take account of policies in the Cotswolds AONB Management Plan 2013-18 and the National Planning Policy Framework:

Affordable Housing
Telecommunications and the Rural Economy
Development in the setting of the Cotswolds AONB
Housing and Development
Minerals and Waste Planning

Diary dates

Cotswolds Conservation Board Annual Forum

Friday 7 March 2014 - Manor House Hotel, Moreton-in-Marsh

Next year's event will be focused on planning and development in the AONB and will feature a range of key speakers providing different perspectives on this very topical subject. 
Full programme to be confirmed soon.

Upcoming Courses

Blacksmithing Improvers - Tongs forging **COURSE FULL**
26th March 2019 - Northleach

LANTRA Brushcutter/Trimmers - Maintenance and Operation
4th April 2019 - Northleach, Gloucestershire

Dry Stone Walling - Beginners **COURSE FULL**
6th April 2019 - 7th April 2019 - Lansdown, Bath

Spoon Carving
6th April 2019 - Northleach, Gloucestershire

Blacksmithing - Taster Day
9th April 2019 - Northleach

Stone Carving - Beginners **COURSE FULL**
13th April 2019 - 14th April 2019 - Northleach