Month: August 2019

The Cotswolds – a new National Park?


In 2018, Julian Glover began leading the Designated Landscapes Review, which was commissioned by the government in response to the 25 year Environment Plan.

Glover intends to publish a full report in the autumn.

Glover and his panel of six colleagues invited everyone to share their views around designated landscapes. 2,500 detailed submissions were received – and these were from organisations and individuals. We submitted our own responses, and published these on our site as a Position Statement and a set of FAQs.  The panel visited every national park in England, and in July 2019 had been to almost every national park in Scotland, as well as almost all the designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and many unprotected landscapes.

We posted a link to the interim findings letter from Julian Glover, sent to Michael Gove, in an earlier post. We were encouraged by the interim findings – which described the nation’s protected landscapes as not having “been given the tools, the funding and the direction to do the job”. Glover and his panel describe an erosion of “national zeal” for the founding mission for landscape protection. Their view is that there is a need to “reignite the fire and vision which brought this system into being in 1949. We need our finest landscapes to be places of natural beauty which look up and outwards to the nation they serve.”

The panel have acknowledged that more must be done for nature and beauty, and more for the people who live in and visit our protected landscapes. And, more should be done to help welcome those less familiar with the countryside.

The final report from the panel will provide views on new designations for National Parks. In the Conservation Board’s 2018 – 2023 Management Plan, we state that one of our four ambitions is to promote the case for the Cotswolds being designated as England’s next National Park. This booklet explores the case for a possible new Cotswolds National Park…

New Secretary of State appointees join the Board

Defra has confirmed three new Secretary of State appointees to the Cotswold Conservation Board, who are all set to take up their roles with immediate effect.

Dom Morris runs his family arable farm of around 1,100 acres near Cirencester, and has a wealth of experience as a military consultant and advisor. Dominic’s career has focused upon advising senior decision makers, civil servants, and military commanders on strategy and change management. Dom also has an interest in welfare reform – cutting his teeth running Prince’s Trust and Millennium Volunteers programmes for young people in Gloucestershire.

Graham Hopkins is a Chartered Engineer with a career spanning forty years. His last corporate role was as Safety, Technical and Engineering Director for Network Rail, and as part of that, he chaired the Rail Industry Technical Leadership Group. Before that, he spent many years with Rolls-Royce plc, including as Director of Engineering and Technology for Defence Engines. Graham has lived in the Cotswolds for over 15 years and is passionate about the Cotswold landscape and communities.

Brendan Costelloe is originally from Cheltenham, and has been working in planning and conservation for the last 15 years. His experience spans working in local government, in private practice, for the RSPB, and for the British Ecological Society. At the British Ecological Society, he works in the policy team which monitors the development of legislation and policies relevant to biodiversity and conservation.

Director of the Cotswolds Conservation Board, Martin Lane, said, “We’re delighted to welcome Dom, Graham, and Brendan to the Conservation Board, they have a wealth of skills and experience to apply to conserving and enhancing the Cotswolds and enabling people to explore and enjoy the AONB.”