We work in partnership with a range of local and national organisations and strategic bodies with the common goals of ensuring the continued protection of our precious landscape.
Key achievements of 2011/12 are:
- Through our Sustainable Development Fund we gave over £40,000 of financial support to nine schemes at locations throughout the AONB, worth over £170,000 and ranging from education projects and sustainable woodland development, to renewable energy and habitat conservation. Click here to see the full details of projects supported.
- Our Annual Forum held in March 2012 and entitled 'Ecological networks - Joining forces for nature' attracted 72 delegates. It featured Professor Sir John Lawton, author of Making Space for Nature, as the keynote speaker. Sir John was joined by a range of other speakers who provided examples and case studies on how we can engage with different audiences to help develop a robust and resilient ecological network for the Cotswolds.
- In partnership with the Local Government Group (LGG), we hosted a new workshop entitled Health and the Natural Environment and attended by over 30 delegates. The workshop increased knowledge and understanding of how the natural environment can contribute to improved health and wellbeing of communities and individuals, mapped assets and interventions that promote the use of the natural environment of the Cotswolds AONB for improving health and wellbeing and developed pilot schemes.
- We were delighted to be invited by VisitEngland to organise and host a visit to the Cotswolds by Tourism & Heritage Minister John Penrose MP and VisitEngland Chief Executive James Berresford to meet with industry representatives and explore the potential for developing a Cotswold-wide approach to tourism management.
- Our annual Farming Forum was held on 20 March and attended by over 60 local farmers and landowners. Topics covered were the challenges of food security and environmental sustainability; farming practices and protecting rivers and ground water; farm businesses and climate change.
A new sensory trail for children with learning and physical disabilities is being developed in the Cotswolds, thanks to an award of over £5,000 from the Sustainable Development Fund. The trail will be built at Fairytale Farm, a new family activity farm opening in 2012 near Chipping Norton and aimed at inspiring and educating children with disabilities about the environment around them including water, land and energy. This will be the first family farm attraction in the UK where everything is designed around the needs of children with sensory, learning and physical disabilities, but which can also be enjoyed by all children.