New discovery centre for the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Photo: @ShortTitle@

A brand new discovery centre for the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) will be officially opened tomorrow, Thursday 29th July.

Housed in the Old Prison, Northleach, and aptly named 'Escape to the Cotswolds!', the new centre has been developed by the Cotswolds Conservation Board to help tell the fascinating story of the Cotswolds AONB. The new development will also enable the re-opening of part of the Old Prison, a former house of correction built in the 1790’s.

With stunningly designed new interpretive displays, the new centre will provide a focus for discovering more about this unique landscape. Visitors to the centre can learn about the geology, history, landscape, wildlife and outdoor recreation, including the Cotswold Way National Trail, as well as the conservation heroes who have helped to make the Cotswolds the special place that it is today. Younger visitors will also be able to have a go at the educational and interactive game ‘Quantum Sheep and the Wonderful Wolds’.

Martin Lane, Director of the Cotswolds Conservation Board said: "As the largest AONB in the country, the Cotswolds offers not only diverse scenery and landscape, but a rich history and heritage. It is a fascinating story to tell the millions of visitors to the area, as well as the many people who call the Cotswolds their home. I am therefore delighted that this new centre is open which I am sure will be a popular attraction that will help more people gain an understanding and appreciation of this beautiful landscape.”

Notes to editors:

• The new centre is open from 10am to 4pm, Wednesdays to Sundays (including Bank Holidays), April to October.

• Admission to the centre is free of charge.

• 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 second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park. 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 the UK. For further details:

Press contact: Nicola Greaves
Tel: 01451 862003 Email: