KIDS HAVE FUN DOWN ON THE FARM

Thanks to the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, children from a special school in Tewkesbury enjoyed a day out at the Cotswold Farm Park in July.

The wardens are the voluntary arm of the organisation that exists to oversee the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Cotswolds Conservation Board and have offered this service, which they call 'Kids Out' in the northern part of the AONB, for many years. They work with various schools in and near the Cotswolds, to give youngsters with special needs hands-on contact with live animals.

This year 19 children aged 7-11 from the Alderman Knight School were treated to a morning snack before meeting baby chicks, rabbits and guinea pigs, then watching a cow being milked.

They then traced their way in and out of a Cotswold maze, and clambered through a woodland safari, meeting various traditional breeds of animals and birds before having a picnic lunch.

During a trailer tour of the whole farm park in the afternoon they spotted two ginger piglets that had escaped from their compound and were proud to report their find to the farm manager.

"Today was an eye-opener for our children," said school teacher Hannah Silverthorn. "They'll be talking about it non-stop for weeks."

Cotswold Wardens North District chairman Robin Cochrane led the team of six wardens who accompanied the children and their teachers.

"We are delighted to offer this service. It's part of our job to extend the understanding of the landscape to everyone, young and old. And the wardens themselves find the contact with these children a moving and satisfying experience."

Ends

Notes to editors:

A photograph has been issued with this press release. More exist. Please contact us if you would like to see them. Tel: Claire Cunningham - 01451 862003

Working in partnership with other organisations continues to be an important element of the work of the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens Service. They work with local authorities, wildlife trusts, Butterfly Conservation, DEFRA, The Wychwood Forest Project and many local communities.

The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens were formed in 1968 and are celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year.

There are 340 Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, part of the Cotswolds Conservation Board. The wardens have been leading guided walks in the AONB since 1975.

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.

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: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk