Launch of consultation on future management of Cotswolds landscape

Businesses, landowners, residents and visitors are invited to consider a range of proposals concerning the future management of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The second draft Cotswolds AONB Management Plan 2013-18, written by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, sets out a series of policies and actions to help guide public bodies, landowners, businesses and individuals on how they can play their part in looking after the Cotswolds landscape and encouraging others to appreciate and enjoy its natural beauty.

The plan covers a number of themes including rural land management, tourism, biodiversity, transport and development, health and wellbeing, and the historic environment. Views on the draft Plan are now being sought by the Board.

The current five-year Management Plan, published in 2008, has resulted in a number of achievements for the AONB, including:

  • Over 15MW of renewable energy generation capacity approved by local planning authorities in the AONB which is sufficient to provide electricity for about 7,000 dwellings – approximately 10% of the housing stock in the AONB.
  • An additional 132 affordable homes provided by Cotswold District Council.
  • 7km of dry stone walls restored through a £1million National Grid grant package linked to the Wormington to Sapperton gas pipeline.
  • Escape to the Cotswolds - a brand new discovery centre for the AONB opened in July 2010.
  • Cotswold Voluntary Wardens undertook 175,000 hours of conservation and awareness-raising work including attracting 17,000 visitors on guided walks.
  • The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas was awarded to the Cotswolds AONB in 2011.
  • The Cotswolds AONB Management Plan 2008-13 and an accompanying suite of landscape guidance publications won a Landscape Institute Award in 2010.

The deadline for responses to the Management Plan consultation is 13 January 2013.

For further details of the Management Plan, click here.

ENDS

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