New programme of free guided walks in the Cotswolds

Over 140 free guided walks, visiting some of the most beautiful places in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, have just been announced by the Cotswolds Conservation Board as part of their Spring/Summer 2010 Walks and Events Programme.

The majority of the walks are researched and led by the Cotswolds Voluntary Wardens, who work on behalf of the Board, and range from short easy strolls, ideal for families, to longer treks more suitable for experienced walkers. With the Wardens' extensive knowledge and experience of the Cotswolds, these guided walks provide an ideal opportunity to learn more about the landscape, history, flora and fauna of the UK's largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Taking place across all parts of the Cotswolds, the walks visit places such as Oxfordshire's ancient Wychwood Forest, Gloucestershire's wildflower-rich commons, historic sites including Warwickshire's Rollright Stones, and walks that take in some of the most spectacular views across the City of Bath. Some of the walks follow circular routes along parts of the Cotswold Way National Trail which runs the length of the AONB from Chipping Campden in the north to Bath in the south.

As an added feature this year, and to help celebrate the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, this year's events programme includes a Bluebell Weekend, Cotswolds Wildflowers Week and Cotswolds Rivers Week, offering people of all ages the chance to find out more about some of the Cotswolds' special flora and fauna. Also participating in these events are the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and National Trust who are organising a number of walks, talks and family events.

Spokesperson for the Cotswolds Conservation Board, Nicola Greaves said: "Our walks are very popular with visitors to the area and local residents, and this year, thanks to the enthusiasm and expertise of our voluntary wardens, we once again have a fantastic range of walks and events that offer the chance to enjoy and appreciate what this special part of England has to offer."

David Colbourne, Head Warden, said: "We have a number of expert guided walks co-ordinators across the AONB who have been leading walks for many years. This year we are delighted to be able to offer our new programme of walks as well as participate in the International Year of Biodiversity by helping to give people a deeper understanding of the countryside."

The full programme of walks can be viewed here or by picking up a free copy of the Spring/Summer 2010 Cotswold Lion newspaper which is available at tourist information centres, libraries and other public places. The newspaper can also be downloaded here


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 47 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Press contact: Nicola Greaves
Tel: 01451 862003 Email:

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