MEDIA INVITE - FIND OUT HOW ONE OF THE KEY CONSERVATION ORGANISATIONS IN THE COTSWOLDS SUPPORTS SUSTAINABLE DEVLOPMENT.

The Cotswolds Conservation Board, the organisation that exists to oversee the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), invites members of the press to attend an event designed to demonstrate how it supports sustainable conservation objectives within local communities.

One of the Board's duties is to administer the Sustainable Development Fund (SDF), a grant scheme that helps local communities look after the Cotswolds AONB.

The fund supports projects that bring, social environmental and economic benefits to the Cotswolds. It aims to develop and test new ways of achieving a more sustainable way of life and up to £90,000 is available in the fund each year to explore and develop practical projects that conserve, enhance and develop the environment, economy and way of life.

The event will take place on Friday March 2nd at Huddinknoll Hill Common, Nr Edge, Stroud between 10.30am and 12.30pm. Map ref: (SO847106). Parking is limited.

Speakers will reveal how the allocation of an SDF grant allowed a private landowner to restore wrought iron park railings, a threatened locally distinctive historic feature of the Cotswolds AONB.

The restoration of the common's boundary is part of a wider project, co-ordinated by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, and supported by Natural England and Gloucestershire Environment Trust. The project is working towards the sustainable management of wildflower grassland on the common, by enabling the re-introduction of grazing through the local farming community.

Ends

Agenda for the day:

10.30 Introduction: Jenny Phelps Caring for the Cotswolds Project (Project Officer CCB*)

10.40 Talk on the Sustainable Development Fund: Anne Powell (SDF Officer CCB*)

11.00 Talk on the history of park railings and a demonstration of restoration : John Burgess (Cotswold Forge)

11.30 Talk on how the Cotswold Wardens can help landowners: John Millington MBE (Member of the CCB)

11.45 Walk around the common lead by Jenny Phelps (CCB) and Nicki Jameson (Natural England) to demonstrate the sustainable management of limestone grassland and common land through structured, supported local delivery and partnership working.

12.30 End

(*Cotswolds Conservation Board)

Notes for editors:

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is cared for by the Cotswolds Conservation Board - an independent organisation with 40 members, 17 nominated by local authorities, eight by parish councils and 15 appointed by Government.

The Cotswolds Conservation Board acts as an advisor to planning departments of the17 local authorities within the AONB.

The Government has designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) 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 largest of 40 AONBs in England and Wales and is protected to ensure that its beauty and special character are conserved. 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.

Contact: Claire Cunningham or Jenny Phelps

Tel: 01451 862000

Cotswolds Conservation Board Fosse Way, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3JH

Tel: 01451 862000 Website: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk