New events programme launches and Blacksmiths Forge opens at the Cotswolds Discovery Centre

This spring/summer the Cotswolds Discovery Centre at the Old Prison in Northleach will be firing up with new events, talks and activities for the whole family to enjoy as well as the opening up of the Blacksmiths Forge.

New events highlights include an open air theatre production of the Wind and the Willows, a Cotswold sheep and wool day, an astronomical evening with talks and supper, a Cotswolds’ experience camping weekend and a medieval re-enactment.

Children’s Flax Making Workshop - 8 April & 5 August, 10:30am-4pm, Free

Stars & Supper - 16 April, 6pm-10pm, £20

Victorian Model Farm – 20 April, 2:30pm – 3:30pm, £5

Birds & Breakfast - 23 April & 4 June, 7am-9am, £10

Cotswold Sheep & Wool Day – 2 May, 10am-4pm, Free

Cotswold Canals past, present & future – 12 May, 2:30pm – 3:30pm, £5

Medieval Pardoner Re-enactment – 4 June, 10:30am-4pm, Free

The Folklore & Medicinal Properties of Plants – 11 June, 2pm-3:30pm, Free

Managing Grassland for Wildlife – 16 June, 2pm-4pm, Free

Escape! Family Camping Weekend – 16-17 July, Adult £20, Child £10

Birds of the Cotswolds – 21 July, 2:30pm-3:30pm, £5

Wind & the Willows Outdoor Theatre - 26 Aug, 2:30pm & 6;30pm, £8/£6 under 3s free

A full events programme can be found at

The events programme isn’t the only new addition to the visitor attraction. Reopening after 16 years is the Blacksmiths Forge. The forge will be open to the public to view scheduled demonstrations by local blacksmiths and a new location for some of the Cotswolds Rural Skills Blacksmithing courses and workshops.

The forge sits alongside the Lloyd–Baker Rural Life Collection – a fascinating and nationally important array of farm wagons, carts and agricultural implements. Learn more about farming traditions and the landscape by visiting the exhibition of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), followed by a bite to eat in the café.

The Cotswold Lion Café is a unique place to eat or have a drink whilst enjoying the view out into the grassed courtyard with view of the Blacksmiths Forge. Focusing on local Cotswold produce and seasonal recipes, it is the ideal venue for a delicious freshly prepared lunch, a treat for the kids and a meeting place for a coffee and catch up with family and friends.

Martin Lane, Director of the Cotswolds Conservation Board said: “The new events programme and the blacksmiths forge brings another element to the visitor experience to the discovery centre.”

We hope that the forge will encourage visitors to learn more about with the craft of blacksmithing and share some of the magic from the fire. The centre is already a well-known destination for the Cotswolds rural skills programme of dry stone walling, thatching and wool weaving, and now Blacksmithing."

For more information about the Cotswolds Discovery Centre visit or call 01451 862035. For details on Blacksmithing and other Cotswolds Rural Skills courses visit


Photo call

Photo opportunity for media – opening of the Blacksmiths Forge and new menu in the Cotswold Lion Café.

Thursday 17 March 2016, 2:30pm,
Cotswolds Discovery Centre at the Old Prison, Fosse Way, Northleach, Glos, GL54 3JH

Press contact

Chris Brant, Communications Officer

Tel: 01451 862003  Email:


Cotswolds Conservation Board, Fosse Way, Northleach, Gloucestershire GL54 3JH

Tel: 01451 862000 Website:

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.

·        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: For details of the 15 National Parks in England and Wales visit:

·        Over 350 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.