An unusual stone water conduit carved in the shape of a Crocodile's head has been recarved thanks to a grant from Cotswolds Conservation Board. The Crocodile which sits at one of the main t-junctions in the tiny village of Compton Adbale has been channelling spring water from the limestone hillside into the River Coln, a tributary of the Thames for over 150 years.

The villagers of Compton Abdale successfully applied for a special grant from the Cotswolds Conservation Board designed to help local people conserve distinctive features in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The Board donated £2,000 towards a total project cost of £6,400. It made it possible for Cotswold stonemason Richard Pods to carve a brand new crocodile head complete with a lead lining inside the huge toothy mouth to prevent water erosion over time.

Spokesperson for the Cotswolds Conservation Board, Claire Cunningham said:

"We are delighted to be able to fund such a fantastic project that helps to maintain the unique and distinctive qualities of the area. The Compton Abdale Crocodile symbolises man's respectful interaction with nature in the Cotswolds AONB over time. It literally demonstrates the way in which we have channelled nature for our own use over many thousands of years."

The grant was distributed as part of a five-year conservation project, delivered by the Cotswolds Conservation Board and supported by a £1.4 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Caring for the Cotswolds ends in December this year. The £2.8 million pound project has made significant improvements and advances on a conservation level in four areas; limestone grassland restoration, drystone walling, local distinctiveness and interpretation.

Click here too see a booklet about the project.


Notes for editors:

The restored Compton Adbale Crocodile was unveiled on Thursday 27th September. Before and after pictures are attached with this press release. Please observe the copyright credits. BEFORE: copyright Nick Turner AFTER: copyright Paul Felix.

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 the 17 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.

Press contact: Claire Cunningham

Tel: 01451 862003

(Please go to the press releases section of our website for more news stories)

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

Tel: 01451 862000 Website: