Latest News

Vacancies at the Board

Recruitment of 6 new Secretary of State members

The Secretary of State, Michael Gove, and Lord Gardiner are seeking to appoint six passionate and committed members to the Cotswolds Conservation Board.

Lord Gardiner states “As a Secretary of State appointed member, you will have the opportunity to help conserve and enhance our most treasured landscapes now and for future generations. I welcome applications from people who have a clear understanding of land management, rural communities, as well as protection and enhancement of the environment.”

The closing date for applications is noon on the 11th April.

Click here to read more


VOTE NOW for your favourite National Trail…

Restored Stone File on Cotswold Way

A battle between the 15 National Trails has commenced!

Our 15 National Trails across England and Wales, including the Cotswold Way, offer a choice of scenery, physical challenge, wildlife, local culture and more. Following on from ITV’s recent television programme ‘Britain’s Favourite Walks: Top 100’ it would be great to hear which Trails attract the most public affection currently. You have until the end of March to cast your vote in the Facebook poll!

To cast your vote visit – then just click on the photo of your favourite trail (Cotswold Way of course), and click on the green confirm button at the bottom of the page.

Cotswolds Farming Forum

Successful Cotswolds Farming Forum

The Cotswolds Conservation Board held its annual Cotswolds Farming Forum on Tuesday 6th March. Chaired by James Cox, Deputy Chairman, Gloucestershire NFU, over 80 farmers, land managers and advisors from across the Cotswolds attended the event held at the Royal Agricultural University.

Hot on the heels of the Government’s 25 year plan to improve the environment and   the recently published consultation seeking comments on the future shape of the post-Brexit agricultural policy and environmental scheme, the Forum explored the goods and services Cotswold farmers could be selling to the public in place of the current Basic Payment Scheme and Environmental Stewardship Scheme as we move towards the post-Brexit era.

Paul Silcock, Managing Director of Cumulus Consultants gave an overview of the goods and services Cotswold farms provide for private and public markets. Two services were then explored in more detail.

Jo Old, Environment Agency Catchment Co-ordinator for the Evenlode and Ock and Vaughan Lewis, Windrush AEC Ltd spoke about flood management in the Evenlode and Sarah Olney, Thames Water Agricultural Catchment Adviser on whose soil is it anyway?

The presentations, available below, were followed by a lively discussion.

Vacancies at the Board

Job Vacancy: Communications Officer

An opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary team working in one of the country’s finest landscapes, the Cotswolds Conservation Board is seeking a highly motivated communications officer.

You will raise awareness of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designation and increase the understanding and enjoyment of this special landscape as well as raise the profile of the work of the Board among its diverse audiences.

You will be the first point of contact for the Board’s communications activity, oversee the interpretation and visitor facilities at the Cotswolds Discovery Centre, Northleach and work with industry and public sector partners to lead a series of sustainable tourism initiatives.

Click here to read more

Recruitment of an Executive Group Member for the Cotswolds LEADER Local Action Group

A superb opportunity to contribute to the operation of the Cotswolds LEADER programme.

The Cotswolds Conservation Board and its partners are operating a £2 million LEADER programme, with the programme due to operate through to March 2020.

The LEADER priorities of generating jobs and growth cover: micro-enterprises and farm diversification, rural tourism, culture and heritage, rural services, increasing farm productivity and increasing forestry productivity.

Click here to read more

Independent research into housing development

Today sees the publication of an independent review by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) of housing development in England’s AONBs. 

The Review by Dave Dixon, Neil Sinden and Tim Crabtree is based on data collected by Glenigan covering planning applications and approvals for major housing development (over 10 housing units) in and near to AONBs between 2012-2017, including the Cotswolds.

National policy for AONBs centres on the need to conserve and enhance natural beauty, particularly in the execution of planning functions by public bodies. However, the Cotswolds AONB is facing unprecedented pressure from housing development.

The Cotswolds Conservation Board sets out a vision for future management of the AONB in a five year Management Plan with clear objectives and policies, which guides the Board in exercising its responsibilities. There is a strong emphasis on partnership working and the need for public bodies to fulfil their commitment to work towards helping to conserve and enhance the AONB.

The Board has a number of position statements that amplify the AONB’s Management Plan policies and provide detailed guidance on land management. The position statements are for use by local authorities, government agencies, land agents, advisers, land managers, farmers and the public.

“This joint study is welcome support to the Board’s own concerns about development pressures within and adjacent to the Cotswolds AONB. The Cotswolds is a living and working landscape.  The report highlights the significant pressures it is facing, seeing the highest number of major housing schemes and second largest increase in the number of new housing units completed across the country’s AONBs for the study period, many of these as a result of speculative planning applications.

Securing the appropriate scale, location and design of growth and development within one of the country’s most special and iconic landscapes is an ongoing responsibility for the areas 15 local authorities and Conservation Board” said Liz Eyre, Chairman of the Cotswolds Conservation Board.

“AONBs are outstanding landscapes of national value and significance.  In its forthcoming review of the National Planning Policy Framework, CPRE looks to the government to state a presumption against large scale housing development in AONBs.

Demand for housing or the lack of a five year housing land supply should not justify inappropriate development in our finest landscapes” said Richard Lloyd, Vice-Chairman of CPRE Gloucestershire Branch

“This shows the importance of taking into account the cumulative impact of development.  The Cotswolds is one of our most precious landscapes and we must avoid it being undermined in dribs and drabs.  The report will be of particular interest in West Oxfordshire where there are a number of applications for development in the AONB due to be decided in the next month” said Helen Marshall, Director of CPRE Oxfordshire Branch.

The review can be downloaded here

Enter Photography Competition

Could you become Cotswolds Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017?

Cotswolds photography competition to inspire young and old alike to get outdoors and record how enriching and inspiring the AONB landscape is.

Calling all amateur photographers! Get out your cameras and enter this year’s ‘Cotswolds Landscape Photographer of the Year’ competition – you could win some great prizes.

We are looking for the most captivating local landscape images. This year’s theme is ‘The Cotswolds – England’s Walking and Exploring Capital’.

Click here to enter the the competition. Deadline 31st December 2017.