The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has a strong geological foundation as it lies upon one of the best known sections of an outcrop of oolitic limestone that extends across England from Lyme Bay in Dorset to the North Sea coast.

It is this limestone that generates a feeling of unity with the stone being used for centuries in buildings and walls. The underlying geology has also dictated where settlements were built in the AONB and man has helped to shape the landscape having interacted with it for over 6,000 years

Today, the Cotswold landscape is made up of a variety of features including rolling agricultural land, flower-rich limestone grassland, deep incised valleys, country parks and woodland.

This section details the work that has been done to identify the landscape’s distinct qualities and the work that is taking place to conserve it.

Here you will find a detailed review of the Cotswolds landscape, a landscape character assessment that has been conducted for the AONB and a resulting series of strategies and guidelines.