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New Call for Project Applications

National Grid Landscape Enhancement Initiative (LEI)

Call for Projects in the vicinity of pylon lines ZF3 (Upper Coberley to Cirencester) and 4TE1 (Upper Coberley to Eastington)

Following a successful call for projects for the National Grid Landscape Enhancement Initiative earlier this year, the Board is issuing a further call, this time for pylon lines ZF3 which runs between Coberley and Eastington & 4TE1 which runs between Coberley and Cirencester

This £24 million grant scheme offers awards of up to £200,000 for projects to enhance landscapes containing or impacted by National Grid’s existing electricity transmission infrastructure.

Only the Cotswolds Conservation Board (the Board) can apply to the National Grid for this funding in the Cotswolds and we are inviting partners to put forward projects.

The deadline for submitting expressions of interest to the Board is the 14th June 2019 for projects commencing in May 2020.

Proposing a Project

The supporting Information below details information to help you develop ideas for projects, it contains:

  • The selection criteria.
  • The sort of projects they are interested in funding.
  • A map showing the approximate area impacted on by the power lines along with the landscape character types from the AONB Landscape Character Assessment.
  • Web links to: The LEI web page, Cotswolds AONB Management Plan, Cotswolds AONB Landscape Character Assessment and the Cotswolds AONB Landscape Strategy and Guidelines.

This is a discretionary grant with a two stage application process starting with a simple expression of interest (attached). If the expression of interest is successful, the ensuing full application will need to be detailed and complete. We have been informed that unlike many grant schemes the element of competition is relatively low so the prospect of strong eligible projects being funded is good.

Please note that the Board is not able to contribute to the minimum 25% match funding, though as well as cash, you can count in-kind and volunteer effort as match.

The Board will look to combine similar projects together under a single expression of interest to National Grid.

If you have a project idea please complete the expression of interest form and e-mail it to Simon Smith, Project Development Officer any time before the 14th June 2019.

Download the LEI Expression of Interest Form

Download the LEI Call for Projects Guidelines

Anyone with a project idea is encouraged to talk to Simon Smith the Board’s Project Development Officer .


Please share this with anyone who you think may be interested

Secretary of State Vacancies

Would you like to play a leading role in conserving and enhancing the natural beauty and special qualities of our most treasured landscapes?

“I am looking for a wide range of passionate and committed individuals who want to help shape the strategic direction of our National Park Authorities and AONB Conservation Boards. 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.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity

Current recruitment: Ministers are seeking to appoint 12 passionate and committed members to four National Park Authorities; Broads Authority, Lake District, Peak District, New Forest, and one Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the Cotswolds Conservation Board. Secretary of State Members have an important role to play overseeing the management of these special landscapes. They provide leadership and strategic input, at a non-executive level, to the National Park Authorities and AONB Conservation Boards which work to ensure the deliveryof benefits to the national and local communities.

Contact: If you have any questions about the appointments process or would like an informal discussion about the role please contact AlexReid, Defra Public Appointments Team on 020 802 67248;

These positions are non-salaried but certain allowances are available. The time commitment varies between 1 -4 days per month.

For further information about this role and to apply, please visit the Centre for Public Appointments.

Closing date for applications: Noon on 13 May 2019

Download advert –  Secretary of State Vacancy

Park Life – should the Cotswolds become England’s next National Park?

The Government has asked for an independent review of England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). The review and associated survey carried out last year 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.

Cotswold Life Magazine have provided an interesting article in their Summer 2019 issue on the National Park debate which is available from the link below:

CL National Park article, summer 2019 issue

Cotswolds Farming Forum

This year’s Farming Forum, organised by Cotswolds Conservation Board, is exploring two areas that will impact greatly on the farm, the new Environmental Land Management System (ELMS) and ash dieback.

The speakers are:

John Law, Policy Advisor, Environmental Land Management, Defra

The new Environmental Land Management System – Where we are at and where we are heading

Tim Shardlow, Forestry Director and Nathan Fall, Woodland Manager, Nicholsons Nurseries Ltd

Ash Dieback – Why should I care?

Doors open at 6.30 with tea, coffee and cakes. Welcome and introduction by the Chairman for the evening, Graham Nichols, Chairman, Gloucestershire NFU, at 7.00pm.

If you would like to attend please let us know by Monday 18th March by sending an email to,

Or you can register for free by visiting

Cotswolds LEADER re-opens to new Expressions of Interest

The Cotswolds LEADER Programme has re-opened to new Expressions of Interest for two weeks from Monday 4 March 2019 to Friday 15 March 2019


Who are we?

The LEADER Programme is a national grant scheme targeted at the rural areas of England. The aim of the programme is to create new jobs and grow the rural economy through capital grant investment. The Cotswolds LEADER Programme is delivered by the Cotswolds Conservation Board.

Who can apply?

LEADER is open to a wide range of businesses, farmers and not for profits. The six LEADER funding priorities are: increasing farm productivity, micro and small businesses (non-agricultural) and farm diversification, rural tourism, culture and heritage, rural services and increasing forestry productivity.

How much is available?

Grants are available from £5,000 to £50,000 at a maximum intervention rate of 40% of the project’s total eligible costs. For exceptional projects under Priority 2 (Support for micro and small businesses and farm diversification) with high job outputs, grants from £50,000 to £100,000 will be considered.

What is the timeline?

  • All Expressions of Interest must be submitted by Friday 15 March 2019
  • All Full Applications to be submitted by Tuesday 30 April 2019
  • All projects must be approved and contracted by Wednesday 31 July 2019
  • All grant payments must have been made by 31 December 2020

Eligible area

The Cotswolds LEADER eligible area broadly mirrors the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the exclusion of urban areas.

Please speak to Lioba Erwert to request an Expression of Interest Form.
Tel 01451 862001


Chasing Darkness…

Join us for an evening with respected astronomer Will Gater to celebrate our dark skies!

Dark skies are recognisably important as part of our heritage, for wildlife, and for health and wellbeing. They are a notable and characteristic feature of the Cotswolds AONB and in 2016, CPRE published survey data showing that a good part of the Cotswolds AONB retains high quality dark skies – but also warns that dark skies are becoming increasingly rare. We need to protect the astronomical landscape as much as the landscape underfoot.

The Cotswolds Conservation Board is launching the Cotswolds Dark Skies Initiative on the evening of 16th March at Guiting Power Village Hall. Astronomy Journalist, author, and science presenter Will Gater will be talking about what dark skies mean to us, what they can reveal, and how we must work to protect their treasures. Weather permitting, the evening will conclude with an outdoor stargazing session.

BOOKING ESSENTIAL Tickets are £8.00 for adults, 16 and under free and are available from: