Discover nature at its best this year in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Celebrating the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity

This April, the Cotswolds Conservation Board will be launching the first of its three, free themed nature events to help local residents and visitors celebrate the special features of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) during this year’s International Year of Biodiversity.

The Cotswolds Bluebell Weekend, which takes place on 24 and 25 April, will provide unique opportunities for people of all ages to discover some of the best places to see bluebells across the AONB - from Ozleworth Bottom near Wotton-under-Edge, to Lynches Wood near Chipping Campden. Walks around Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Midger Nature Reserve south of Nailsworth and the spectacular bluebell woods of Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust’s Foxholes Nature Reserve near Chipping Norton also form part of the weekend’s programme of events.

In addition to the Bluebell Weekend, a number of other bluebell walks will be taking place during May, offering the chance for even more people to enjoy and learn more about one of Britain’s favourite wildflowers.

Most of the walks will be led by Cotswold Voluntary Wardens, who will be able to provide interesting commentary along the way. Walks vary in length and ability, from an easy 2 mile walk suitable for younger families, to a more challenging 11 miles with some steep places in parts.

Two further themed events will be taking place later this year – the Cotswolds Wildflowers Week (12-20 June) and Cotswolds Rivers Week (4-12 September).

Full details of all events are available from the Cotswolds AONB website, go to: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/events.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • Dogs are not allowed on guided walks, apart from guide dogs for the blind and hearing dogs for the deaf.
  • 2010 has been declared International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) by the United Nations. Click here to link to the official IYB website.
  • Appropriate footwear should be worn on guided walks as some walks may be steep and muddy in places.

Cotswolds AONB Fact File:

  • The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is looked after 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 third largest protected landscape in England and Wales after the Lake District and Snowdonia. 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.
  • The Cotswolds AONB is the largest of the family of 49 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Press contact: Nicola Greaves
Tel: 01451 862003 Email: nicola.greaves@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

Cotswolds Conservation Board, Fosse Way, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3JH
Tel: 01451 862000 Website: www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk