FAMILY FRIENDLY WALKS AT HALF TERM

Million year old fossils, strange fungi and the secrets of a Cotswold farm are all waiting to be discovered during the May half term break.

The Cotswolds Conservation Board is providing a programme of ten short family strolls across the AONB, which are designed to provide families with the opportunity to get out and about over the school holidays.

"The walks will provide an ideal opportunity for families to find out more about the countryside around them and to enjoy the summer colours in the Cotswolds" said Dave Scott, one of the Cotswolds Conservation Board's 340 Voluntary Wardens.

The strolls are ideal for younger members of the family and will cover short distances at an easy pace. Each walk focuses on a particular theme, such as wildlife or woodlands, which walks leaders will discuss with the public along the route.

It is all part of a wider walks programme that can be found in the Cotswold Conservation Board's newspaper, The Cotswold Lion.

Visit pages 10, 11 and 12 of the online version of the Lion for the walks listings (half term walks are highlighted in pink and bear a family logo), or pick a copy of the Cotswold Lion up from your local library or Tourist Information Centre.

Unless pre-booking is indicated, just turn up at the starting point and take part. Some walks are categorised as easy or moderate.

Unfortunately due to the nature of the walks, dogs will not be allowed.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The full walks listings in the Cotswold Lion newspaper are available online at www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk or on request from the Conservation Board Offices. Tel: 01451 862000.

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 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.

Over 340 Voluntary Wardens give their time to conserve and enhance the Cotswolds AONB. In 2005 Wardens gave over 34,000 hours of their time.

Contact: Becky Jones / Claire Cunningham Tel: 01451 862000

Cotswolds Conservation Board, Fosse Way, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3JH. Tel: 01451 862000

Website: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

Walks listing:

Saturday May 24 10.00

Lineover and Ravensgate

Spring flowers in ancient woodland and on Cotswold grassland. Suitable for families but includes a steep climb.

Easy

Starting Point: Lineover Wood. Parking available on track south of A40 1 mile east of Charlton Kings and 100 yards east of Reservoir Inn.

Leaders: John Heathcott, John Woodland

3 hours 4 miles

Explorer: 179/986196

Saturday May 24 14.30

A tour of the beautiful and historic town of Chipping Campden

A guided walk along some of Campden's beautiful streets with an explanation of the history of the town houses. Suitable for families.

Easy

Starting Point: Chipping Campden Market Hall

Leader: Ann Colcomb

1.5 hours 1.5 miles

OS Leisure: 45/152392

Sunday May 25 12.00

Sights and Sounds

Tour of Rodborough Common. Cost: £3. Booking essential on 01452 814213.

Moderate

Starting Point: Meet at Rodborough Fort car park

Leader: Matt Stanway (National Trust)

3 hours 2 miles

SO: 851040

Sunday May 25 14.00

Discovering Fungi

A woodland walk looking at a variety of fungi and tree species.

Easy

Starting Point: Foxholes reserve car park

Leaders: Dave Scott and Martin Barnsley

2 hours 2 miles

SP: 258208

Tuesday May 27 10.00

When Dinosaurs Roamed the Land

The walk will explore the geology and landscape of the village and its surrounding area, and will investigate the ancient past of the Cotswolds, when dinosaurs roamed the land and giant reptiles swam the seas. Easy

Starting Point: Burford: Church Lane car park

Leader: Bob Marchant of Oxfordshire Geology Trust

2 hours 3.5 miles

SP: 254122

Wednesday May 28 10.00

Dale's Tales - a farmer's secrets

Hear about country life in the north Cotswolds from Bourton-on-the-Hill farmer Robin Dale. A very short, easy walk suitable for young and old. Easy

Starting Point: From the A44 above Bourton-on-the-Hill, take the B4479 (signed Blockley). After 300 yards take the first right turn and look out for the WALK STARTS HERE sign

Leaders: Mike Matthews and Stephen Wright

2 hours 1 mile

OL: 45/169331

Wednesday May 28 10.00

Village to Village

Circular walk from Luckington to Sherston crossing River Avon and back. Suitable for families. Pubs at Luckington and Sherston

Easy

Starting Point: Luckington Green

Leaders: Virginia Rawlings, Ted Thornton

3 hours 4.5 miles

OS: 173/833839

Friday May 30 14.00

The Edge of the Cotswolds

A geological walk along the important Crickley Hill Escarpment, looking at the geology of the area and answering questions such as: why don't the Cotswolds extend to the Forest of Dean and did dinosaurs walk the area? Moderate

Starting Point: Crickley Hill Country Park. Meet at visitors' centre.

Leader: Hellen O'Connor - Gloucestershire Geology Trust

2 hours 2 miles

SO: 929163

Saturday May 31 10.30

Marshfield - Town & Country

A morning walk along the High Street of this small medieval market town to the Almshouses, then taking bridleways south to Ashwicke and returning through the fields on footpaths (only kissing gates). Lunch choice of 3 pubs or a teashop - or stay and visit our Open Gardens and enjoy a cream tea. Easy

Starting Point: Market Place, Marshfield

Leader: David Colbourne

2.5 hours 4 miles

OS: Landranger 172/781737

Sunday June 1 10.00

Galloway's Galore

See the newly born calves from the National Trust's Belted Galloway herd. Booking essential on 01452 814213. Adults £1.50, children free.

Moderate

Starting Point: The Ebworth Estate

Leader: Matt Stanway (National Trust)

1.5 hours 1.5 miles

SO: 914114