Discover the rivers of the Cotswolds

From Saturday 4th September, the Cotswolds Conservation Board will be holding its first Cotswolds Rivers Week to help local residents and visitors discover more about these rich habitats and special features of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) during the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.

The Cotswolds Rivers Week, which takes place from 4th to 12th September, will provide unique opportunities for people of all ages to discover some of the AONB’s most beautiful rivers including the Windrush, Evenlode, Coln, Eye and Isbourne.

Among the many walks being offered during this week, there will be the chance to follow the River Windrush to discover the lost village of Widford in Oxfordshire, learn more about the Bristol to Bath Navigation Scheme on the River Avon and explore some Roman archaeological features along the River Coln.

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust are also getting involved by holding a ‘Tales from the River Bank’ event with their water vole officer, John Field, at Greystones Farm Nature Reserve where visitors of all ages can learn about water voles, otters, dragonflies and the plight of our native crayfish.

The walks, which vary in length from 3 to 10 miles, form part of the Board’s year-round programme of free guided walks across the AONB. All walks are organised and led by the Board’s voluntary arm, the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens.

Full details of all events are available from the Cotswolds AONB website:


Notes to editors:

  • 2010 has been declared International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity and celebrate success stories.
  • All walks led by Cotswold Voluntary Wardens are free of charge however donations are welcomed.
  • Dogs are not allowed on guided walks, apart from guide dogs for the blind and hearing dogs for the deaf.
  • Appropriate footwear should be worn on guided walks as some walks may be steep and muddy in places.

Cotswolds AONB fact file

  • The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation with 37 members, 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 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 third largest protected landscape in England and Wales after the Lake District and Snowdonia. 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.
  • The Cotswolds AONB is the largest of the family of 47 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.