Agricultural land in the Cotswolds AONB comprises 176,393 ha. This is 86% of all land within the AONB. The main land uses are crops and fallow (41.29%), permanent and temporary grassland (43.79%). Other key land uses are woodland on farm holdings3 (6.13%), set-aside (4.47%) and rough grazing (2.11%).

The AONB has a similar proportion of land in crops and fallow and permanent and temporary grassland as England. However the AONB has more woodland on farm holdings (6.13%) compared to England (3.29%). The AONB also has more set-aside but less rough grazing


There has been an increase in the area of agricultural land recorded compared to 2002 (+ 4.75%). Crops and fallow remains the most important land use in the AONB however it has continued to decrease as a percentage of agricultural area from 48.85% in 1990 to 43.11% in 2002 to 41.29% in 2007. A reverse in this downward trend is expected due to the abolition of set-aside.

Historically, much of the land coming out of crops and fallow has gone into grassland. The area of permanent and temporary grassland has fluctuated from 39.66% in 1990 to 37.15% in 2002 to 43.79% in 2007. Rough grazing, on the other hand, has continued to decrease in area from 3.46% in 1990 to 3.3% in 2002 to 2.1% in 2007.

There has been a slow but steady increase in the area of woodland on farm holdings from 4.21% in 1990 to 5.64% in 2002 to 6.13% in 2007.

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