Grant funding opportunities now open from Cotswold Visitor Giving scheme

The Cotswolds Conservation Board is offering grants for projects and activities that conserve and enhance the special qualities of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and improves the public’s understanding and enjoyment of what makes the area special.

Deadline for applications is 7 August 2015 with grants available from £500 up to a maximum £2,500.
A fund of £9000 has been generated by the Cotswolds Visitor Giving scheme.

Visitor Giving is a method by which businesses collect funds from their customers for local environmental projects. It is associated with the tourism industry and is based on the premise that visitors may wish to contribute something towards the conservation of the wonderful place they have come to see and enjoy.

As the Cotswolds’ leading holiday cottage provider, Manor Cottages has supported the Visitor Giving scheme from the beginning to support environmental, landscape and access projects across the Cotswolds.

Manager of Manor Cottages, Chris Grimes, says: “We are very proud to be able to support the Cotswolds through this scheme as we fully appreciate the need to conserve the very asset that attracts visitors to the Cotswolds in the first place.  Since the scheme launch we have donated an additional pound to every pound donation generated through our bookings, all of which has gone towards supporting some of the many worthwhile projects in the Cotswolds.

The money raised goes to support projects across the Cotswolds, delivered by the many committed organisations and communities who are working hard to look after the things that make the Cotswolds special. The Cotswolds Conservation Board along with the partners of the scheme is looking for projects that:

•    Conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape
•    Manage and restore habitats for wildlife
•    Manage and improve footpaths and bridleways
•    Look after the area’s distinctive historical heritage
•    Provide countryside access information and/or improve the public’s understanding of the things that make the Cotswold’s special

Individuals, businesses, community groups and members of the voluntary sector can all apply.

Last year a number of organisations benefited from Visitor Giving grants, they included the World Land Trust. The trust’s £500 grant went towards woodland coppicing and site interpretation at Kites Hill Nature Reserve. A grant of £500 went to the Cotswolds Rivers Trust towards river restoration work on the River Coln and a community group in Winchcombe has been able to complete a missing section of hard surface footpath thanks to the scheme.

To find out more information and to apply for a Visitor Giving grant visit
www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/visitorgiving

Notes to editors:

•    The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966 in recognition of its rich, diverse and high quality landscape. www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk
•    The Cotswolds AONB is looked after by the Cotswolds Conservation Board – an independent organisation established in 2004 which has 37 members - 15 nominated by local authorities, 8 by parish councils and 14 appointed by the Secretary of State.
•    The Cotswolds is the second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District National Park and represents 10% of the total AONB area in the UK. 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.
•    Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), along with National Parks, are considered to be the most special landscapes in the country and belong to an international family of protected areas.  There are 38 AONBs in England and Wales, and a further eight in Northern Ireland.  For further details, visit: www.landscapesforlife.org.uk. For details of the 15 National Parks in England and Wales visit: www.nationalparks.gov.uk
•    Over 300 Cotswold Voluntary Wardens dedicate thousands of hours of practical conservation work every year across the AONB, as well as lead an annual programme of guided walks and undertake a range of promotional and educational work.

Press contact: Chris Brant
Tel: 01451 862003  Email: chris.brant@cotswoldsaonb.org.uk

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

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