Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Autumn 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.


Help to save our Magnificent Meadows

Are you interested in making a difference and helping to conserve and restore your local meadows?

Save Our Magnificent Meadows is a national project funded primarily by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), comprising 11 organisations including the Cotswolds Conservation Board and is being co-ordinated by Plantlife. The Cotswolds team is looking to recruit local volunteers and community groups to help carry out practical conservation tasks, species surveys and run events. Anybody who is interested in helping out should contact Katherine Holmes, Community Engagement Officer on 01451 862038 or email:

Read more about the Save our Magnificent Meadows project

Dry Stone Walling Academy

The Cotswolds Dry Stone Walling Academy was recently launched by the Cotswolds Conservation Board and the Dry Stone Walling Association, providing professional training in the traditional craft of dry stone walling.

The academy, based at the Old Prison, Northleach, offers a range of accredited training courses from LANTRA Level 1 (initial) through to Level 3 (advanced) allowing new and existing wallers the opportunity to gain qualifications recognised by industry as well as improve their skills in this centuries' old craft.

Photo: Rural Skills Officer, David Molloy (left) with Board Member Richard Lloyd and Ray Stockall, Chairman of the National Dry Stone Walling Association.

New courses added to the Cotswolds Rural Skills programme

The Rural Skills programme continues to grow with the addition of new courses in flax and charcoal making.

The unique day course in flax making, offers participants the opportunity to discover the fascinating process of growing and harvesting flax, providing hands-on activity along with an insight into the history and benefits of growing flax.

With the arrival of the Board’s first ever charcoal kiln, courses in charcoal making are now being offered this year, providing participants with a practical insight into the process of charcoal making, its history, and its connection with wildlife conservation and sustainable woodland management.

For further information on the full range of rural skills courses, visit:

Strategic management and planning

Could you help to steer the management of the Cotswolds AONB?

Three new Board members are being sought by the Secretary of State for Defra for appointment to the Cotswolds Conservation Board as part of a national recruitment campaign.

The appointments, which will commence from April 2015 and will be initially for up to three years, will provide the opportunity to work with other members to help steer the management of the Cotswolds AONB. Applicants with expertise in sustainable tourism, health and wellbeing as well as commercial acumen would be particularly welcome to apply.

For further information....

Understanding and enjoying

Stagecoach joins the Discoverer scheme

The Cotswolds Discoverer integrated bus and rail ticketing scheme has been significantly enhanced, thanks to the expansion of Stagecoach's participation in the scheme.

The Discoverer, launched in March 2014, provides unlimited bus and rail travel on a 1-day or 3-day basis. With the addition of Stagecoach West, the scheme now incorporates a number of bus routes between Gloucester, Tewkesbury, Stroud and Cheltenham.

For further details, visit:

Chipping Campden marker project underway

After months of work by community groups in Chipping Campden, funds have finally been raised to start work on an end marker for the Cotswold Way in Chipping Campden.
The marker will echo the one launched in Bath in 2012, creating a resonance between the northern and southern extents of this popular National Trail.

The grand unveiling will take place towards the end of the year.


Photo: An artist's impression of how the new marker will look in Chipping Campden.

Tourism businesses explore the Cotswolds as part of Our Land

Tourism businesses in the Cotswolds enjoyed an afternoon walk and networking event in the Adlestrop and Daylesford area of the Cotswolds recently, kindly organised and led by Anne Martis of Walk the Landscape (

The event was part of the Our Land sustainable tourism initiative which celebrates our protected landscapes and encourages tourism businesses to widen their knowledge and appreciation of these special places.

The 12 business representatives visited Daylesford Organic Cafe and Richard Phillips Racing Stables in Adelstrop as part of the event.
For further details of Our Land visit

Cotswold Way - one of the Great Walks of the World

The Cotswold Way is featured in a new book on the world's greatest walks.

Writing in 1921 John Drinkwater described the Cotswold country as “the most beautiful in England …” proclaiming, “there is no more tender or subtle landscape on earth.” The Cotswold Way National Trail wanders through some of the best of it as it follows the limestone escarpment from Chipping Campden to the magnificent city of Bath. Now you can read all about this superb long-distance footpath in the latest release by Canadian author D. Larraine Andrews entitled Great Walks of the World.


Cotswolds appears in Taste of Britain

The Cotswolds has featured in a brand new BBC daily food programme entitled A Taste of Britain. Hosted by Janet Street Porter and chef Brian Turner, each episode visits a different part of the UK to find out more about the links between landscape and food.

To view the Cotswolds programme aired on 8 September, go to the BBC iPlayer page here.

Photo shows a scene from the Cotswolds episode of Taste of Britain with the Board's Mark Connelly.

Concert at the Cotswold Lion Cafe is a hit

The Cotswold Lion Cafe was the venue recently for a successful folk concert with singer/songwriter Johnny Coppin & Paul Burgess on violin & recorder.

Described by Q Magazine as having one of the finest voices in his field, Johnny played to a packed-out audience at the cafe, while Paul wowed everyone with his diverse musical talent.

Since opening in November last year, the cafe at the Old Prison, Northleach has built up a loyal customer base from across the area as well as being a popular stop-off place for cyclists, coach tours and visitors.

For further details of events at the Old Prison:

New publications

Annual Review
The Cotswolds Conservation Board’s Annual Review 2013/14 has been produced, highlighting the work of the Board and many of its achievements over the last financial year.

To download a copy of the Annual Review, click here.

Autumn/Winter Lion
The Autumn/Winter edition of the popular Cotswold Lion newspaper has been published and is available to download.
In this latest edition we take a look at the centenary celebrations of the WI, planning and development in the AONB, caring for nature and wildlife during winter, plus you can winner a local produce hamper and view the full programme of guided walks up to March 2015.

To download your copy, click here.  Copies are also available from local visitor information centres.

People and communities

Cotswolds LEADER bid

The Cotswolds Conservation Board, together with its partners have submitted two LEADER bid options to secure £2-2.5 million for the Cotswolds area from 2015-2020.

LEADER is part of the Rural Development Programme for England which provides funding to improve the quality of life and prosperity in rural communities through locally driven and sustainable rural development initiatives and projects.

It is hoped to hear positive news about the bid in November and, if successful, the new grants scheme will open in January.

Read more about LEADER and the Cotswolds bids.

New Natural England Chair visits the Cotswolds

The Conservation Board recently hosted a visited to the Cotswolds by the new Chairman at Natural England, Andrew Sells.

Following a briefing session on the Cotswolds AONB and the work of the Board, Mr Sells visited Crickley Hill Country Park to find out more about potential road developments along the A417 and Air Balloon roundabout, plus the Save our Magnificent Meadows project, rural skills training and the Cotswolds Trails and Access Partnership.

Photo: Andrew Sells (left) with CCB Chairman Jeff West and Director Martin Lane.

Diary dates

Cotswolds AONB Access Conference

'Promoting Access in the Cotswolds'
Friday 21 November
Witcombe and Bentham Village Hall

Cotswolds AONB Open Dry Stone Walling Competition

Saturday 20 September
Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park
Find out more...

North Cotswolds Hedgelaying Competition

Saturday 15 November
Waverton Stud, Moreton-in-Marsh

Find out more...

Upcoming Courses

Dry Stone Walling - Beginners **COURSE FULL**
27th April 2019 - 28th April 2019 - Broadway Tower, Worcestershire

Blacksmithing - Taster Day **COURSE FULL**
4th May 2019 - Northleach

Dry Stone Walling - Beginners **COURSE FULL**
11th May 2019 - 12th May 2019 - Lodge Park, Gloucestershire

Blacksmithing - Taster Day
14th May 2019 - Northleach

Introduction to Scything
16th May 2019 - Discovery Centre, Northleach, Gloucestershire

LANTRA Brushcutter/Trimmers - Maintenance and Operation
17th May 2019 - Northleach, Gloucestershire