Cotswolds Conservation Board reflects on the year looking after one of the nation's important landscapes
Over 50,000 hours of conservation and wildflower restoration work by volunteers, creating 11 new jobs in local businesses and engaging 1,500 young people with nature are just some of the success stories in the recently published Annual Review 2016/17 by the Cotswolds Conservation Board.
The Cotswolds Conservation Board, which looks after the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) marked its 50th anniversary of being designated as a protected landscape in 2016. This gave the Board a huge opportunity to increase awareness to an ever increasing and diverse audience of stakeholders of the special qualities of this nationally important landscape: Rich in farming, tourism and nature but hugely important for the UK’s economy.
2016/17 Success stories:
- 2,536 hours of restoration work by volunteers at 36 wildflower grassland sites,
- 48,338 hours of conservation work by voluntary wardens equated to an estimated value of £322,000,
- 553 people trained on over 70 rural skills courses,
- 402,994 unique visits to the Board’s websites,
- 44,523 visitors to the Cotswolds Discovery Centre,
- 4833 people enjoying free guided walks,
- Over 12,000 people following the Cotswolds AONB on social media,
- 2,000 visitors to the Cotswolds Living Landscape Festival.
As well as reviewing the past year, the Annual Review also looks at the year ahead and the future priorities for the Board, which include reviewing and consulting on the AONB Management Plan and protecting and investing in the natural capital of the Cotswolds.
The Board’s Chairman Liz Eyre said: “The Board has been working to deliver real benefits for residents and visitors – and indeed for the country as a whole.
I am delighted to present this excellent record with sincere thanks to all those who have helped to deliver these benefits”.
The Board are proud members of the national family of Protected Landscapes, incorporating both National Parks and AONBs and are third largest of those special places after the Lakes and Yorkshire Dales. The Cotswolds Conservation Board offers exceptional value for money and the economic activity and jobs linked to the Cotswolds landscape mean that the area is so much more than just a lovely view.
The Annual Review summarises the work undertaken by the Board’s staff, members, volunteers and partner organisations during the last financial year. Despite economically challenging times, the support and partnership working across the area has continued to bring a wide range of benefits to the Cotswolds AONB and its local communities.