Record number of hours for Cotswold Voluntary Wardens
The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens have broken their own record in conservation work by undertaking a record number of hours last year, worth over £271,000.
The Wardens form the voluntary arm of the Cotswolds Conservation Board, the organisation that looks after the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Hundreds of Wardens give up many hours of their time every year to carry out essential practical work across the AONB.
In 2008-9 the Wardens worked 41,719 hours, over 1,000 more than the previous year and worth over £271,000 in paid time.
In addition to their conservation efforts such as maintaining well trodden walking routes, building bridges and restoring stone stiles, the Wardens lead hundreds of guided walks every year, attend summer county shows and give talks about their work.
Head Warden David Colbourne said: "The Cotswold Voluntary Wardens are an extremely dedicated and enthusiastic group of people who are passionate about the Cotswolds landscape. Each year they get involved with a wide variety of activities with the end result benefiting the many people who live and visit the area.
From guided walks to rebuilding walls, the Wardens are very much the people on the ground, helping to conserve and enhance the Cotswold countryside and assisting others to understand and enjoy it.”
In total during 2008-9, the wardens: led 261 guided walks attended by 3,929 people; attended 47 shows; planted 892 trees; worked on 21 grassland sites; planted 1,090 metres of hedges; repaired / rebuilt 749 metres of wall; installed 73 stiles; 155 gates; 34 bridges; 167 steps; and cleared 21 kms of path.
Notes to editors:
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 figure of £271,000 is derived from the Heritage Lottery Fund formula of £6.50 per volunteer hour. Cotswolds AONB fact file
The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is cared for by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation with 37 members, 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by Government.
The Government has designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) 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: Nicola Greaves Tel: 01451 862003 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (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