Month: October 2018

The Government Review of National Parks and AONBs – your views are sought

The Government has asked for an independent review of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). You can find more about the work of the review and their Terms of Reference.  Already the review team, led by Julian Glover and a panel with a range of experiences and interests, has carried out visits and meetings in many parts of England.

The review and associated survey is wide ranging and explores more than just the idea of new National Parks or other types of designation. It is the first time that there has been a national review of Parks and AONBs since the original enabling legislation in 1949 and parallels with the growing local discussions over the merits of the Cotswolds being designated a National Park. The newly adopted Cotswolds AONB Management Plan 2018 -2023 contains the ambition: To promote the case for the Cotswolds being designated as England’s next National Park.

The Government will do more in the months ahead – but want everyone to have a chance to contribute, whether you live in a National Park or AONB, run a business in them, enjoy visiting, care about landscapes and biodiversity, or represent an organisation with views that might shape and improve their findings. The online survey asks 24 questions and suggests you limit your responses to 500 words per question some people and organisations will want to reply in detail on specific points. It is not necessary to reply to every question so please ignore those which you do not think relevant to you. You may find it easier to write your answers elsewhere before pasting them into the text boxes which follow.

We have summarised the questions below to provide an insight:

  • What does and doesn’t work about the current system of designated landscapes
  • What you think about the roles of National Parks and AONBs in regard to:
    • landscape, beauty, cultural heritage
    • nature conservation and biodiversity
    • working with farmers and farm payments
    • managing access and recreation
    • people who live in the designated landscapes
    • housing and transport
  • Your thoughts on how;
    • Parks and AONBs are governed
    • Parks and AONBs are funded
    • they work collectively
    • they involve people and encourage volunteering
  • The process of designating Parks and AONBs
  • Suggestions for new National Parks, AONBs and new types of designation for marine and urban areas
  • Whether there are lessons to be learnt from abroad
  • Whether the title AONB could be improved
  • How National Parks and AONBs work with National Trails, SSSIs, SACs etc

Submissions are invited from individuals and organisations by the 18th December 2018

The online survey is available for you to complete at 


Cotswolds Conservation Board to launch new scheme to save wildflower grasslands

The Cotswolds Conservation Board has been awarded a grant of over £200,000 from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for a project which will conserve, restore and create wildflower-rich limestone grasslands across the Cotswolds. The project, Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands, aims to create the largest network of wildflower rich Jurassic limestone grassland in the country – around 100 hectares in total, over three years.

The project hopes to secure the long term management of these precious grasslands through farming and community engagement, alongside practical and educational activity.

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) contains just over half the UK’s wildflower rich Jurassic limestone grassland. These grasslands are fragmented and vulnerable, and in urgent need of intervention to maintain, restore, and most importantly, to expand and connect them by creating new wildflower-rich grassland.

The central aims of the project are to:

  • Collect seed from existing wildflower rich grasslands, and sow them on sites to restore or create new grasslands
  • Provide advice and guidance on managing grasslands to maximise their benefit – for wildlife and people
  • Provide practical assistance such as managing scrub and invasive species
  • Work with communities and highway authorities to improve road verges to create a network of flower-rich corridors
  • Establish a sustainable service to deliver advice, equipment, and advocacy beyond the life of the project.

Mark Connelly, Land Management Officer at Cotswolds Conservation Board said, “We’re delighted that the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has supported the Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands project. Their generous grant will allow us to implement this ambitious project, and will help us give Cotswolds grasslands, and the fantastic wealth of wildlife to be found in them, a better chance for the future.”

Simon Wightman, from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation said, “We are pleased to support the conservation, restoration and creation of wildflower rich grasslands across the Cotswolds. Trustees were especially impressed by the Conservation Board’s commitment to finding a sustainable approach to grassland management beyond the end of the grant period.

Trustees also applauded the project’s focus on education, and on exchanging learning with other organisations involved in grassland management. We are keen to hear how the project progresses.”

If you or your organisation is interested in finding out more about this valuable project, please contact Mark Connelly (Cotswolds Conservation Board) at


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.
  • 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 third largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks 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: For details of the 15 National Parks in England and Wales visit:

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

  • Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for people and communities throughout the UK both now and in the future. We do this by funding the charitable work of organisations who are building an inclusive, creative and sustainable society.
  • The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK. In 2017 we made grants of £40.5 million towards a wide range of work within the arts, children and young people, the environment and social change. We also have a £45 million allocation to social investments for organisations with the aim of creating social impact.’’


Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands Job Vacancies

Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands

Do you want to join the Cotswolds Conservation Board team to help restore internationally important wildflower rich grasslands in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?

We are seeking two confident, dynamic and committed team players to deliver the Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands project, an ambitious project to create the largest connected network of wildflower rich Jurassic limestone grassland. The Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and private sponsors.

Project Officer, £27,264 – £29,066, Full time fixed term contract for 3 years

Assistant Project Officer, £21,899 – £23,692 Pro Rata, Fixed term contract for 3 years, part-time, 3 days per week

Closing date: 12.00 noon, Monday 12th November 2018.

For more information and application form visit our Vacancies page.