The Cotswolds Conservation Board supports farmers in the AONB and has committed itself to a set of policies on rural land management which can be found in the AONB management plan. Click here to see management plan.

The plan identifies key issues in conservation terms such as the importance of good woodland management to maintain the essential character of the Cotswold landscape, the need to retain flower-rich grassland sites despite the downturn in sheep and cattle farming and the need to work towards reversing the decline in the numbers of people who manage land and possess rural skills.

One of the board’s key policies in relation to farming is that viable sustainable farming that meets environmental standards remains one of the principal land uses in the AONB and contributes to maintaining the quality of the landscape.

There are agreed priority areas in the AONB where farmers are being encouraged to enter into Higher Level Stewardship Agreements(HLS), which encourage appropriate land management.

Grants are available to help landowners manage their land properly. Farmers outside the priority areas can also apply but funding is focused on target areas.

Click here to visit the Natural England HLS targeting webpage.