Gateways in Oxfordshire

You've arrived in the Cotswolds!

Four stone 'gateways' have been installed at the roadside in Oxfordshire to show where the designated Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty begins.

The gateways are made from Cotswold stone with cast iron plaques and are part of a project to mark the boundary of this internationally important area.

Funded by the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the installation of the gateways has been co-ordinated by Oxfordshire County Council.

The four Oxfordshire gateways have been installed on the approach to Burford, between Charlbury and Woodstock and two just outside Chipping Norton.

Martin Lane, Director of the Cotswolds AONB Partnership said;

"Everyone knows the landscape of the Cotswolds is special, but what many people don't realise is that it is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"By working with our council partners and local communities we are helping to raise the awareness of the special nature of the Cotswolds."

A spokesman from Oxfordshire County Council explained;

"As the local Highway Authority we were responsible for agreeing the sites for these gateways with the AONB Partnership and for getting our contractors to put them in place.

"We are delighted to help with this project which seems to have been very well received by local communities."

The gateways help to show the extent of the Cotswolds AONB - it is the largest of 41 AONBs in England and Wales, stretching from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in the north down to Bath and Wiltshire in the south.

Martin Lane said,

"Covering 790 square miles it's a vast area and one of the most attractive parts of the country - that's something we want to shout about, as well as work to conserve and enhance."

Gateways are also being installed in the south of the AONB, near Bath and there are plans for gateways in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Wiltshire.

These follow three stones already in place in Warwickshire.